Ballinger, Dr. Pamela, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME - To aid research on 'Selling Croatia: Paradoxes of Post-Socialist Tourism'
DR. PAMELA BALLINGER, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, was awarded funding in June 2002 to aid research on 'Selling Croatia: Paradoxes of Post-Socialist Tourism.' This project examined privatization of large-scale tourist enterprises together with the politics of houses and vacation homes in contemporary Croatia. The researcher conducted fieldwork in two primary sites along the Croatian coast: Rovinj (in Istria) and Dubrovnik (in Dalmatia). Contrary to her initial hypothesis, which predicted that the (former) vacation homes of Serbs would be a primary a focus of contention for small-scale property privatizations, the researcher found considerable resentment of Slovenes, both modest investors who purchase second/vacation homes and large-scale investors bidding on privatization contracts. These debates over privatized properties are bound up with larger questions of Croatia's relationship with its neighbor, now a member of the European Union, that include an unresolved maritime boundary dispute and attendant questions of fishing rights. The privatization of tourist properties can best be understood, then, within a larger framework of changing meanings of ownership and sovereignty along Croatia's coast.
Yanagisako, Dr. Sylvia Junko, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Made in Translation: Italian Family Firms in China'
DR. SYLVIA YANAGISAKO, Stanford University, Stanford, California, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Made in Translation: Italian Family Firms in China.' Ethnographic research on Italian family firms pursuing transnational business ventures in textile and clothing production in China shows that their transnational business projects are incited and shaped by kinship sentiments and commitments. Commitments to family firm continuity and intergenerational succession spur projects of transnational investment, expansion, and diversification and shape management strategies. At the same time, family members are reluctant to live in China. Thus, in contrast to the management of the firm in Italy, family members are not engaged in day-to-day decision-making in production and distribution in China. Instead they rely on hired managers who are not family members. This new generation of Italian transnational managers is developing local cultural knowledge that is becoming increasingly important as the portion of the firms' revenues derived from business activities in China and other Asian markets grows. Transnational expansion thus poses some crucial challenges to both the management structure and identity of Italian entrepreneurial families whose sense of distinction has derived from their location in the social landscape of Italy.
Constantin, Marin, Rainer Anthropological Reseach Center, Bucharest, Romania - To aid oral history interview with Professor Paul Henri Stahl and his field informants among the folk artisans in Romania - Historical Archives Program
Osterweil, Michal, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Theoretical Practice and the Remaking of the Political: An Ethnography of Italy's 'movimento dei movimenti',' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar
MICHAL OSTERWEIL, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Theoretical Practice and the Remaking of the Political: An Ethnography of Italy's 'Movimento dei Movimenti',' supervised by Dr. Arturo Escobar. This dissertation research investigates the sites, practices, and technologies whereby new or different imaginaries and understandings of politics (and movements' roles within politics) are created, contested, and modified within Italian activist networks. These networks are comprised of individuals, collectives, and larger organizations directly or discursively affiliated with, and/or inspired by the cultural politics of the Zapatistas, as well as the broader 'global justice movement.' The research included ongoing participant observation in movement spaces -- mostly social and media centers in Bologna and Milan -- as well as several large protests and meetings throughout Italy, as well as in Germany and Mexico, and more informal spaces including cafes, bookfairs and bookstores, piazzas and home-kitchens where theoretico-political discourses and narratives were developed, debated, elaborated, and employed. In addition, the research was based on semi-structured and life-history interviews, as well as textual analysis of hundreds of movement texts ranging from books and journals to Internet discussions. By placing these theoretical and narrative practices at the center of sustained ethnographic attention, this project offers important insights on the political effects of movements; the messy relationship between knowledge-production and social change, as well as the utility of an anthropological approach in apprehending these.
Rakopoulos, Theodoros, U. of London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Anti-Mafia Livelihoods: Work and Social Change in Sicilian Agrarian Cooperatives,' supervised by Dr. Victoria Goddard
THEODOROS RAKOPOULOS, then a student at University of London, London, United Kingdom, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'Anti-Mafia Livelihoods: Work and Social Change in Sicilian Agrarian Cooperatives,' supervised by Dr. Victoria Goddard. The grantee conducted ethnographic fieldwork amongst people working in cooperatives that make use of assets the State confiscated from 'the mafia' in Alto Belice (western Sicily). Research focuses on the livelihoods of people connected to the 'antimafia' microoeconomy based in these cooperatives. Paying attention to local moralities of labor and politics, the grantee conducted participant observation in workers' everyday life to understand the range of accounts regarding 'antimafia' values, how they connect to social relations, and the extent to which they reflect or contradict legalistic discourses promoted within 'civil society.' Attentive to networks supporting this micro-economy, the project analyzes people's entanglements with the authorities (often patronage-based), discussing how State functionaries contribute to consolidating an 'antimafia gift-economy.' Specifically, research participants organize production relations across reciprocity chains connected to the State's 'gift:' the confiscated assets offered to them. The work presents an ethnographic account of responses to social changes triggered by State intervention in redistributing resources on claims to 'legality' basis. Investigating what mafiosi activity implies, the research contributes a dynamic, relational analysis of mafia/antimafia. Tracing people's discourses and experiences, the research locates 'mafia' in everyday activity and explores contradictions that confront individuals and collectives regarding claims to legality and commitments to moralities of kinship and friendship.
Scheffel, Dr. David Z., U. College of the Cariboo, Kamloops, B.C., Canada - To aid research on 'Patterns of Relations Between Rural Roma and Ethnic Slovaks'
DR. DAVID Z. SCHEFFEL, University College of the Cariboo, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, received funding in December 2003 to aid research on 'Patterns of Relations Between Rural Roma and Ethnic Slovaks.' The research carried out as part of this grant sought to assess variation in the quality of relations between rural Roma and ethnic Slovaks in the Presov district of eastern Slovakia. Five ethnically mixed villages were visited between January and June 2004, and informants representing both groups were interviewed in order to obtain insight into emic methods employed in the determination of the quality of local relations. The methods themselves were found to be highly asymmetrical since they favor the (Slovak) majority community. Although Romani commentators are well aware and often critical of this asymmetry, they nevertheless accept the standards imposed on them and use them to evaluate their own standing as well as that of neighboring groups. The most important standards are those of cultural refinement and deviance. Roma who score well on these, that is, those who are 'cultured' and law-abiding, become known as 'good gypsies', and their communities may become quite well integrated into the local majority society. On the other hand, Roma who exhibit a marked deficit in both realms are branded as 'bad gypsies' and barred from other than fleeting intercourse with ethnic Slovaks. Since the examined settings differ little in terms of socioeconomic variables, it appears that the roots of the observed distinctions go back to the era of early socialism when higher-order integrationist efforts in the realms of housing and education were received and implemented with varying degrees of enthusiasm and cooperation by municipal authorities.
Scheffel, David Z.. 2005. Svinia in Black and White: Slovak Roma and their Neighbours. Broadview Ethnographies & Case Studies. Broadview Press: Toronto
Scheffel, David. 2008. Ethnic Micropolotics in Eastern Europe: A Case Study from Slovakia?s Gypsy Archipelago. Anthropology Today 24(4):23-25.
Johnson, Alix Barrie, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'From Financial Hub to Information Haven: Icelandic Information Economies, Technofutures and National Dreams,' supervised by Dr. Lisa Rofel
Preliminary abstract: The financial crisis of 2008 devastated Iceland's economy and destabilized its sense of identity: having quickly become one of the wealthiest nations in the world, it suddenly looked powerless and peripheral again. Projects of economic recovery, then, also require national re-imagining. This project asks how Icelanders are re-making senses of self, place, and future in the wake of the crisis, by following one major project of national and economic revival: an effort to make Iceland an 'information haven'. By building data centers, founding start-ups, and passing 'information-friendly' legislation, Icelanders hope to carve out a new niche and attract global data to Iceland's shores. The project has sparked discussion and debate on what kind of place Iceland is and will be: a connected, cosmopolitan and tech-savvy data center? Or once again an outpost, the digital equivalent of an offshore bank? By following the process of re-inventing Iceland as an 'information haven,' I trace these national imaginaries as they are materially made.