Romer, Johanna Ilene, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Constructing Violence: Risk, Security, and Criminal Justice Professions in Catalonia,' supervised by Dr. Bambi B. Schieffelin
JOHANNA RÖMER, then a graduate student at New York University, New York, New York, was awarded funding in April 2012 to aid research on 'Constructing Violence: Risk, Security, and Criminal Justice Professions in Catalonia,' supervised by Dr. Bambi B. Schieffelin. Spain has one of the highest rates of incarceration in Europe, and 45% of Catalan inmates are foreign. Nonetheless, Spain has maintained a rehabilitative prison system that originated in the post-Franco era. This ethnographic research (2012-2013) investigated the production of concepts of civil society in a prison bureaucracy in Barcelona. Focusing on the activities of prison treatment teams, composed of psychologists and other professionals, it shows how teams demonstrated civic values and moral stances towards prisoners and the state. The project highlighted teams' efforts to care for a diverse population of violent offenders also at risk for self-harm. It found that prevention practices focused on self-harm were an important component in violence treatment programs. It also found that teams sought to develop ideologies of sincerity in treatment relationships, which in practice situate sincerity as the embodiment of a particular political-economic relationship to the state. Teams lacked shared communicative resources with inmates, as well as stances toward government and authority. Showing how teams typified and communicated Spanish and Catalan ideas about the appropriate expression of emotion and violence to inmates, this project contributes a perspective that incorporates ideas of personhood to ongoing scholarship on the construction of civility and security in Europe.
Jaroka, Livia, U. College of London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Ethnic Relations and the Management of Everyday Life among Hungarian-Speaking Urban Roma in Postcommunist Hungary,' supervised by Dr. Michael S. Stewart
LIVIA JAROKA, while a student at University College of London in London, England, received funding in January 2002 to aid research on ethnic relations and the management of everyday life among Hungarian-speaking urban Roma in post-communist Hungary, under the supervision of Dr. Michael S. Stewart. Jaroka's fieldwork was focused on Roma living in the Jozsefvaros, an area in the Eighth District of Budapest. Data were gathered on Roma social organization, status, and experiences of and responses to social, cultural, economic, political, and human rights conditions since the political-system change in 1989. Special emphasis was placed on factors encouraging or discouraging assimilation or the continued classification of others as Roma. The data showed how the Roma-most of whom had lost economic security after the change of the political system-had failed to be absorbed into Hungarian society, mainly because the non-Roma population appeared to accept unrealistic, exotic stereotypes of Roma and to be unwilling to accept the integration attempts of aspiring Roma. The everyday experiences of informants showed that integration attempts were rejected by majority Hungarians even while the Roma were constantly blamed for 'not being able and willing to integrate.' The discriminative attitude among the majority was the main reason for seeking assimilation, yet many Roma, especially younger people, chose a more nationalistic Roma attitude, often antagonistic to non-Roma.
Allison, Jill D., Memorial U., St. John's, Canada - To aid research on '(In) Fertile Ground: Contradictory Conceptions in Assisted Reproduction in Ireland,' supervised by Dr. Robin G. Whitaker
JILL D. ALLISON, then a student at Memorial University, St. John's, Canada, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on '(In) Fertile Ground: Contradictory Conceptions in Assisted Reproduction in Ireland,' supervised by Dr. Robin G. Whitaker. This research examined the social challenges and paradoxes that surround infertility and its treatment in relation to rapid and recent social and economic change in the Republic of Ireland. Recent changes include economic growth, new economic and political links with the European Union, and declining public confidence in social power of the Roman Catholic Church within Ireland. Less overt factors in the infertility experience emerge from debates around the traditional definition of family and its significance to Irish political identity, the long-standing issue of abortion politics, and the meaning of the constitutionally protected 'right to life of the unborn' in relation to increasingly available assisted reproduction technologies (ART) in Ireland. Based on in-depth interviews with people who have experienced difficulty conceiving, the researcher explored the way they contend with moral and ethical challenges posed by technological innovations in infertility treatment, how they make decisions between medical or social options that may or may not be available, and the impact of infertility itself in a climate of changing social values. In spite of continuing emphasis on the traditional family as the site of social, moral, and political stability in Ireland, the research suggests that women dealing with infertility are challenging the institutionally and discursively constituted meanings of motherhood, conception, and fertility that have been the cornerstones of their subjective identities.
Smith, Alexander T.T., U. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Apprehending the (Scottish) State: Devolution, Nationalism and the Politics of Rural Development,' supervised by Dr. Anthony P. Cohen
ALEXANDER T. T. SMITH, while a student at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland, received funding in May 2001 to aid research on devolution, nationalism, and the politics of rural development in Scotland, under the supervision of Dr. Anthony P. Cohen. Contemporary Scotland presents a unique opportunity for anthropologists and other social scientists to explore, in a Western setting, the processes by which a new parliament is created and its effects on other state agencies. Smith investigated the processes by which the authority of the Scottish Parliament was being negotiated and established through a nexus of institutions concerned with 'rural development' in Dumfries and Galloway. On the basis of ethnographic research conducted between the devastating outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the region in 2001 and elections to the local council and Scottish Parliament in May 2003, Smith addressed the following questions: How is authority and legitimacy constructed by governing institutions in Scotland? What legitimating role will discourses relating to rural development and the land play in constructing political authority in postdevolution Scotland? And how do these discourses contribute to the formation of national identity?
Smith, Alexander. 2011. Devolution and the Scottish Conservatives: Banal Activism, Electioneering and the Politics of Irrelevance. Manchester University Press: Manchester and New York.
Koch, Insa Lee, U. of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom - To aid research on ''Anti-Social Behaviour': Law and Order in the British Working Class,' supervised by Dr. David Gellner
INSA LEE KOCH, then a student at the University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in October 2009, to aid research on ''Anti-Social Behavior': Law and Order in the British Working Class,' supervised by Dr. David Gellner. This research investigated the role of the state in the life of white working class people on a post-industrial council estate in England. As geographically demarcated areas of government-built housing, often characterized by a strong involvement of state authorities and high degrees of welfare dependency, council estates can be seen as primary instances of state-building projects. Based upon ethnographic fieldwork conducted on one of Britain's largest council estates, this research investigated how its local people come to imagine and make use of the state in their everyday lives. It found that people often treat the state as a personalized resource to rely upon to upset, modify, and generate intimate social relationships that otherwise exist beyond the domain of official state intervention. In a context characterized by intra-community divisions and enmities, an array of state actors -- such as the police, social services and council officers -- then become potential allies to mobilize in one's pursuit of reputation, recognition and justice. Looking at the state, not as a distinct entity on its own, but as an intimate extension of people's social lives, this research offered insights into the sociality of British working-class communities, as well as into broader anthropological discussions of the state, citizenship, and democratic politics.
Buier, Natalia Cornelia, Central European U., Budapest, Hungary - To aid research on 'Past Remembered, Present Opposed: Historical Memory and Labor Contention in the Spanish Railway Sector,' supervised by Dr. Don Kalb
NATALIA C. BUIER, then a student at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, received a grant in April 2013 to aid research on 'Past Remembered, Present Opposed: Historical Memory and Labor Contention in the Spanish Railway Sector,' supervised by Dr. Don Kalb. The anthropology of memory has made essential contributions to the study of the plural experiences of the past and their cultural articulation. It has, however, encountered a limit in its focus on representation and discursive formations. This project contributes to the emerging field of anthropology of labor and memory through an investigation of the way in which historical representation enables and conditions collective organization in the railway sector and is a structuring force in debates over the public utility model. Using the strategic lens of the post-Francoist history of labor mobilization in the largest public company of Spain, the project argues that alternative development models are shaped by uneven access to instruments of historical representation. The ethnographic investigation follows three main topics: the making of narratives of progress and decline of the national railways; an account of the transformation of the field of organized labor and the role played by plural representations of the past in the process; and, finally, the relationship between historical memory, the moral economy of indebtedness and the unmaking of the labor force as a collective political subject.
Van Den Bos, Dr. Matthijs, Birkbeck College, U. of London, London, UK - To aid research on 'European Shi'ism: Peripheral Networks and Religious Renewal'
DR. MATTHIJS VAN DEN BOS, Birkbeck College, University of London, London, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in May 2007, to aid research on 'European Shi'ism: Peripheral Networks and Religious Renewal.' The research has explored networks and religiosity of Shiites in Europe to answer the question of what comprises European Shiism. It was hypothesised that Shiism in Europe occupies a peripheral position, enhancing autonomous 'European (Shiite) Islam' through context sensitive lay religious exegeses and the adoption of reformist thought that decenters clerical jurisprudence. These issues were investigated through a database of approximately 300 Dutch and British organizations, and key French and German organizations, which listed their board members and ethnic affiliations; approximately thirty interviews with representative Shiites in Britain, the Netherlands and Iran; exploring Shiite publications; and observing Shiite communal life in Britain. Core findings refuted the premises. Many key organizations were related to global Shiite authority; Shiites' formal organizational life in Europe did not cohere cross-ethnically and transnationally, but was nationally and ethnically fragmented. Thus, European Shiism did not constitute a particular, peripheral space. The research identified both indicators of European Shiism, lay readings and decentering jurisprudence, but did not find them to define European Shiism. Ideational lines in major lay organizations derived from clerical statements; a non-jurisprudential focus was experimented with at relatively low levels in an hierarchy of knowledge where provision at Iranian (and Iraqi) seminaries ranked supreme.
van den Bos, Matthijs. 2012. European Shiism? Counterpoints from Shiites' Organization in Britain and the Netherlands. Ethnicities 12(5):556-580.
van den Bos, Matthijs. 2012. 'European Islam' in the Iranian Ettehadiyeh. In Shi'I Islam and Identity: Religion Politics and Change in the Global Muslim Community. L. Ridgeon, ed. Routledge: London.
Luibheid, Dr. Eithne, Bowling Green State U., Bowling Green, OH - To aid research on 'Babies of Convenience? African Asylum Seekers and Childbearing in Ireland'
DR. EITHNE LUIBHEID, of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, was awarded a grant in May 2002 to aid research on African asylum seekers and childbearing in Ireland. In the 1990s, Ireland was transformed from an emigrant nation into a destination eagerly sought by migrants from around the world, both immigrant workers and asylum seekers. Luibheid analyzed the Irish government's and public's responses to the most controversial of all newcomers-childbearing African asylum seekers-in order to theorize the relationship between national and supranational (e.g., European Union) identities, imaginaries, and governance structures as these were negotiated, contested, and transformed. The questions that guided the research included, How can feminist anthropological scholarship be extended in order to understand struggles for control over asylum seekers' childbearing as a mechanism for rearticulating the link between the national and the supranational? In what ways do these struggles draw migrant women's reproductive capacities into new circuits of commodification within a global system while also providing new opportunities for agency? How do these struggles reveal the refashioning of gender and racial relations in national and EU contexts? Luibheid's preliminary findings included the observation that controversies over asylum seekers' childbearing had given the state a means to reconstitute a notion of the sovereign Irish nation, despite globalization. Moreover, the controversies used women's bodies as a terrain for installing new racial distinctions and rearticulating older ones-distinctions that now structure everyday life in Ireland. The controversies have materially affected asylum-seeking women's possibilities for being recognized as full members of the Irish polity, in terms of both accessing rights and engaging in practices of democratic citizenship.
Luibhéid, Eithne. 2004. Childbearing Against the State? Asylum Seeker Women in the Irish Republic. Women’s Studies International Forum 27:335-349.
Luibheid, Eithne. 2006. Sexual Regimes and Migration Controls: Reproducing the Irish Nation-State in Transnational Contexts. Feminist Review 83:60-78.
Demetriou, Dr. Olga, Cambridge U., Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Insecure Minorities in Conditions of Ethnic Antagonism in the Balkans and Cyprus'
DR. OLGA DEMETRIOU, of Cambridge University in Cambridge, England, was awarded a grant in June 2002 to aid research on insecure minorities under conditions of ethnic antagonism in the Balkans and Cyprus. Demetriou investigated political expressions of marginalized identities from a comparative social anthropological perspective, bringing together research previously carried out in Balkan Greece and ethnographic research in multiple sites on Cyprus. This latter part of the project was designed to compare the experience of marginalization by different groups of Turkish Cypriots living in southern Cyprus. Demetriou compared groups in urban 'ghettos' such as that of the old Turkish quarter of the town of Limassol with those living in historically mixed villages such as Potamya, a village close to the dividing Green Line, which throughout the period of communal separation remained demographically bi-communal. She examined how 'ethnic' difference became instituted in state and legal structures; how Greek and Turkish Cypriot 'coexistence' was conceptualized and manifested in the southern part of the island; and the impact of state policies on the treatment of Turkish Cypriots in an environment of perpetuated political suspension. Following the relaxation of movement restrictions across the island's dividing line in April 2003, she also turned to the ways in which the accommodation of Turkish Cypriots in Greek Cypriot discourse and governmental policy shifted, as well as how the concept of 'coexistence' was reconfigured in official and unofficial rhetoric on both sides of the island. The results of the project were to be incorporated into ongoing research on marginalization and the experience of citizenship in the southeastern Mediterranean.
Demetriou, Olga. 2007 To Cross or Not to Cross? Subjectivization and the Absent State in Cyprus. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 13(4):987-1006.
Zontine, Angelina Ione, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - To aid research on 'Remaking the Political in 'Fortress Europe': Cultural and Political Practice n Italian Social Centers,' supervised by Dr. Jacqueline L. Urla
ANGELINA IONE ZONTINE, then a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Remaking the Political in 'Fortress Europe:' Cultural and Political Practice In Italian Social Centers,' supervised by Dr. Jacqueline L. Urla. This research project investigates the political activism and creation of culture being carried out at collectively run social centers in Bologna, Italy. Described by participants as 'laboratories' for the creation of alternative modes of exchange, interaction (between native-born Italians and migrants), socializing, and extra-electoral political participation, these centers would seem to provide an example of active citizenship as participants enact political engagement through a range of cultural practices. In a seeming paradox, however, these centers are censured by authorities and targeted for relocation as part of ongoing 'security'-oriented campaigns against 'illegality' and 'urban blight' that cast social centers as fonts of illegal and 'uncivil' activity. Using participant observation, interviews and discourse analysis, the research project investigates the character and internal organization of these social center order to discern the opportunities afforded and tensions generated by this form of political engagement. At the same time, it explores the controversy surrounding Bolognese social centers in order to explore how participants struggle to rework or enlarge the restrictive parameters of belonging and participation in the natoinal and political communities of both the city and the nation-state, thus engaging and opposing prevailing models of citizenship.