Michelet, Aude Pierrette Pascale, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Learning Kinship in Huld (Mongolia),' supervised by Dr. Rita Astuti
AUDE MICHELET, then a student at London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Learning Kinship in Huld (Mongolia),' supervised by Dr. Rita Astuti. In the village of Huld (Mongolia), children (aged 3 to 7) build representations about how they relate to other people that differ from those of their elders. Contrary to adults, children do not have a theory of kinship based on consanguinity. However, young children differentiate between two categories of people: those who are familiar -- category that includes ah duu ('kin'), and naiz ('friends') -- and those who are not. Familiarity is established through visits, phone calls, gifts, etc. From the age of 4, children start to restrict family membership to the people who are related to the mother as children or husband. They consider friendship and kinship to be equivalent kinds of relationships albeit friendship is restricted to people of the same age. They believe that relations of friendship and kinship have generative properties; they see these relations as transitive. At age 7, children start to distinguish ah duu (kin) from naiz (friends) and to develop genealogical knowledge to discriminate between the two, despite the overwhelming similarities in people's modes of interaction. The evidence collected suggests that children might share some intuitions about relationships. One would be that birth creates a special bond; a second that certain relationships have generative properties.
Jamil, Nurhaizatul Jamila, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Marketing Manners Makeover: Women, Islam and Self-Help in Contemporary Singapore,' supervised by Dr. Robert Launay
Preliminary abstract: Since 2007, Singaporean graduates of Egypt's Al-Azhar University have helped pioneer a new wave of 'religious' classes that incorporate American self-help rhetoric with Sufi theology and poetry, while closely referencing the Quran and Hadith (prophetic traditions). These returnees offer seminars such as 'The 7 Habits of Effective Muslims,' 'Al-Ghazali's Beginning of Guidance,' 'Manners Makeover for Wives,' 'Islamic Business Ethics,' and 'Finding your Ideal Muslim Partner.' Like their counterparts in Indonesia, Malaysia, Yemen, and Egypt, the returnees market their costly lessons as opportunities for young ethnic and religious minority Muslim graduates of Singapore's secular universities to apply new understandings of their faith to everyday spheres. Further distinguishing themselves from older preachers, they utilize new media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to proselytize and market their lessons. While their seminars attract male participants, the vast majority of students are professional women desiring to fashion 'ideal' Muslim selves while pursuing their careers. Women attend these classes dressed in the latest Islamic fashions, armed with technological gadgets, and virtually archive their participation on Facebook. How can we understand young women's attraction to, and use of, these classes? What is the relationship between the proliferation of these new education ventures and women's anxieties concerning the pursuit of economic mobility, religiosity, and love in a neoliberalizing economy? How does women's embrace of globally commodified Islam, new media, and eclectic pedagogical incentives reframe notions of Islamic 'piety' and 'education,' and pose challenges to dominant male religious authority and interpretation?
Dattatreyan, Ethiraj Gabriel, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Central Peripheries: Migrant Youth, Popular Culture, and the Making of 'World Class' Delhi,' supervised by Dr. John L. Jackson Jr.
Preliminary abstract: India's economic liberalization has spurred a tremendous influx of migrants to India's city centers, from near and far, in search of new livelihoods (Fernandes, 2006; Searle, 2010). Delhi, for instance, has nearly tripled in population since the early 1990s due to in-migration (censusindia.gov, 2011). These migrants, like migrants around the world, strive to adapt to their new surroundings by producing themselves in ways which make them socially, economically, and politically viable (Glick-Schiller et al, 2006; Vertovec, 2011). My project examines how recent international and intranational immigrant youth -- Nepalis, Sikkimese, Assamese, and Nigerians -- who have come to Delhi to partake in its economic possibilities and, in some cases, to escape political uncertainty, are utilizing globally circulating popular cultural forms to make themselves visible in a moment when the city strives to recast its image as a world class destination for roaming capital (Roy, 2011). I focus on one super diverse (Blommaert, 2012; Vertovec, 2007) unauthorized settlement community in South Delhi to explore the citizenship making claims of immigrant youth who, to date, have been virtually invisible in academic and popular narratives of the city. Specifically, I follow 30 ethnically diverse young people from this settlement community as they engage with hip hop, a popular cultural form originating in Black American communities in the 1970s (Chang, 2005; Morgan, 2009). As hip hop's music and its practices gain popularity amongst youth in Delhi from across a wide spectrum of class and ethnic positions, I will trace how these migrant youth utilizing its styles and its globally reaching networks to fashion themselves and, perhaps, their settlement community as part of a world class urbanity in the making.
Sum, Chun Yi, Boston U., Boston, MA - To aid research on 'The New Vanguard of Civil Society: Morality and Civic Consciousness among College Students in China,' supervised by Dr. Robert P. Weller
CHUN YI SUM, then a student at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'The New Vanguard of Civil Society: Morality and Civic Consciousness among College Students in China,' supervised by Dr. Robert P. Weller. How do campus organizations affect the cultivation of moral personhood and civic consciousness among Chinese college students? How do expressions of individuality, civility, and morality in student organizations illuminate the nature and development of governance and civil society in Communist China? Analyzing students' motivations of participation and their experiences in volunteering and organizational activities in an elite university in southern China, this dissertation examines how extra-curricular interest groups mediate students' identities and relationships with their peers, the society at large, and various levels of school and state authorities. In this informal, voluntary, and less supervised sphere of tertiary education, frequent contestations and negotiations of individuality and social boundaries have driven young people to reflect critically on their roles and responsibilities in the transforming political economy and moral communities. This research argues that associational experience in the Chinese university has unwittingly disempowered and disillusioned well-intentioned youth from enthusiastic anticipation of, and active engagement in, civic affairs and social initiatives. The exposures to campus politics and social injustices have promoted a sense of inadequacy and helplessness, rather than preparing participants for social integrations as the study's interlocutors have initially hoped. This project examines the manifestations of individualism and civility among China's future elites, and discusses peculiarities and development of China's civil and uncivil society in the midst of new opportunities and challenges presented by changing imaginations in national and global modernities.
Novellino, Dr. Dario, U. of Kent, Canterbury, UK - To aid research on 'Assessing the Dynamics of Local 'Knowledge Hybridization' in the Context of Conservation-Development Projects,'
Novellio, Dario. 2010. The Role of 'Hybrid' NGO's in the Conservatoin and Development of Palawan Island, The Philippines. Society and Natural Resources 23:165-180.
Novellino, Dario. 2009 From 'Impregnation' to 'Attunement:' A Sensory View of How Magic Works. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 15(4):735-776.
Novellino, Dario. 2009. From Museum Collections to Field Research: An Ethnographic Account of Batak Basket-Weaving Knowledge, Palawan Island, Philippines. Indonesia and Malay World 37 (108):203-224.
Novellino, Dario. 2007. Cycles of Politics and Cycles of Nature: Permanent Crisis in the Uplands of Palawan (the Philippines). In Modern Crises and Traditional Strategies: Local Ecological Knowledge in Island Southeast Asia (R. Ellen, ed.). London and New York: Berghahn
Novellino, Dario. 2007. Talking About Kultura and Signing Contracts: The Bureaucratization of the Environment on Palawan Island (the Philippines). In Sustainability and Communities of Place, (Carl Maida, ed.), Berghahn Books: United States.
Fedorenko, Olga, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Ethico-Politics of Advertising: Analyzing Discourses and Practices of Ethical Advertising in Neoliberalized South Korea,' supervised by Dr. Andre Schmid
OLGA FEDORENKO, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was awarded funding in November 2008 to aid research on 'Ethico-Politics of Advertising: Analyzing Discourses and Practices of Ethical Advertising in Neoliberalized South Korea,' supervised by Dr. Andre Schmid. This project started as an exploration of advertising ethics as it is articulated and implemented by government and non-government review organizations in contemporary South Korea. As fieldwork progressed, it broadened up to encompass discourses and practices of advertising in general and to question what processes are mediated through advertising in South Korea. Conducted fieldwork included: observation of consultative advertising review meetings at Korea Broadcast Standards Commission; probes into industry-sponsored advertising review boards and NGOs engaged in advertising monitoring; participant observation at a major advertising agency in Seoul; following advertising campaigns through physical and virtual sites of advertising production and consumption; attendance of numerous advertising industry events; repeated visits to the Advertising Museum in Seoul; and interviews with advertising regulators, reviewers, professional and volunteer monitors, employees of advertising agencies, advertising managers at media outlets, consumer and media activists, advertising students and regular people. Collected data draws attention to blurring boundary between advertising and other mass media and to the role people voluntarily play in making advertising an effective instrument of commodity aesthetics. It also documents ongoing contestations about the status of advertising as a public cultural resource and as a private business expense, while detailing how flows of advertising texts and revenues are implicated in politico-economic struggles in South Korea.
Ahsan, Sonia, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Recognizing Honor: Sexual Violence and the Honour Effect in Afghanistan,' supervised by Dr. Brinkley Morris Messick
SONIA AHSAN, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in November 2010 to aid research on 'Recognizing Honor: Sexual Violence and the Honor Effect in Afghanistan,' supervised by Dr. Brinkley M. Messick. This project proposes an ethnographic approach to understanding honor-killings. Tracing the complex juridical, social, material, and historical permutations of the categories of honor and honor-killings in Afghanistan, the archival and ethnographic research unsettles these categories by demonstrating that honor is not a singular cause of action that motivates the killings but rather a retroactive effect that manifests itself through ex post facto discourses and practices. This is achieved by: 1) documenting the prominent discourses and practices that enable honor to emerge as the foremost category of analysis to explain certain violent events; 2) analyzing the vocabulary defining sexual transgressions (and by extension sexual norms) and how it has been systematically rationalized, institutionalized, and circulated through social processes; and 3) studying the manifestation of dishonorable statuses (with or without a killing), and how they are inhabited and negotiated in relation to honorable states. Bringing together the social constructs of sexual vocabulary, through an ethnography of honor-killings, this project seeks to illuminate the sexual life-worlds that inhabit present day Afghanistan.
Tilche, Alice, U. of London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Broken Frames? Adivasi Museums, Representation and Marginality in Contemporary India,' supervised by Dr. Edward Simpson
ALICE TILCHE, then a student at University of London, London, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Broken Frames? Adivasi Museums, Representation and Marginality in Contemporary India,' supervised by Dr. Edward Simpson. This research focused on Adivasis' ('Tribal') struggle for identity and recognition in contemporary India. It particularly examined the development of an Adivasi Museum of Voice in rural Gujarat, and its role in transforming historically rooted forms of marginalization. Adivasi identity emerged as extremely fragmented, at the core of contested projects of modernity, development, and nation building. Interrelated processes of dispossession, resistance to extractive industries, and enrollment within a 'Hindu Nation' were turning Adivasi areas into sites of intensifying conflict and political concern. In this context, the Museum of Voice aimed to generate an Adivasi counter-culture as a tool to redefine terms of inclusion. While young Adivasis were its curators, the museum was also centered within wider transnational networks of trade, social movements, and indigenous people. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork as participant and collaborator within this nexus, the research accounted for the daily work of cultural/political negotiation, and the complex dilemmas of representations involved in museum work. It examined how, while building something new, Adivasis continuously contended with the objectification of others as 'exotic Tribals,' as well as with 'internal' hierarchies and diverse aspiration for change within the community. In this last aspect, the research considered the creation of this new cultural space as a moment of contestation, where different projects of 'modernity' came together.