Lem, Dr. Winnie, Trent U., Peterborough, Canada - To aid research on 'Transnationalism and Chinese Migrant Livelihoods'
DR. WINNIE LEM, of Trent University in Peterborough, Canada, was awarded a grant in December 2002 to aid research on the significance of transnational networks in the organization of livelihoods among Chinese migrants in France. Lem conducted fieldwork on small, family-run businesses operated by migrants from Asia in Paris, in order to assess the role played by transnational circuits in the initiation, organization, and operation of such firms over the previous 50 years. Through this case study, Lem explored the different propositions and debates that were emerging in the literature on the nature of migration and transnationalism and their relationships to globalization.
Lem, Winnie. 2007. William Roseberry, Class and Inequality in the Anthropology of Migration. Critique of Anthropology 27(4):377-394.
Colleran, Heidi, U. College London, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Kin and Social Influences on Reproductive Norms and Decision-Making in Rural Poland,' supervised by Dr. Ruth Mace
HEIDI COLLERAN, then a student at University College London, London, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in May 2010, to aid research on 'Kin and Social Influences on Reproductive Norms and Decision-Making in Rural Poland,' supervised by Dr. Ruth Mace. Women reproduce within complex socio-economic and cultural contexts; as a result reproductive outcomes are influenced both by the people we rely on for social support and wider societal norms. Explaining the 'demographic transition' from high to low fertility -- a common population-level feature across the developed world -- is problematic for evolutionists, who must explain how 'evolved psychologies' can lead to such apparently maladaptive behavior. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, this project tested two evolutionary theories proposed to explain the transition to low fertility in an area of rural Poland where fertility and contraceptive use are strikingly varied, and where the traditions of small-scale subsistence farming are being eroded by 'modernization.' By examining both group- and individual-level variation in a wide variety of dimensions, this project explores how mechanisms for fertility control are learned and diffused among individuals, and ultimately whether reproduction is strategic or influenced. The grantee evaluates whether kin or non-kin disproportionately influence reproductive outcomes, and whether changes in social networks or socioeconomic factors provide the impetus for fertility change. The project builds on theoretical and empirical research on reproductive decision-making by both evolutionary and sociocultural anthropologists, incorporating the work of other social scientists in demography, sociology, social psychology and economics.
Colleran, Heidi, Grazyna Jasienska, Ilona Nenko, Andrzej Galbarczyk, and Ruth Mace. 2014. Community-Level Education Accelerates the Cultural Evolution of Fertility Decline. Proceedings of the The Royal Society B. 281 (Published online, DOI: 10.1089/rspb.2013.2732).
Putz, Gudrun A., U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - To aid research on 'Migration, Power, and Community: Former Soviet Migrant Sex Workers in the Netherlands and Latvia,' supervised by Dr. Florence E. Babb
GUDRUN A. PUTZ, while a student at University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, was awarded a grant in May 2002 to aid research on 'Migration, Power, and Community: Former Soviet Migrant Sex Workers in the Netherlands and Latvia,' supervised by Dr. Florence E. Babb. The research conducted for this project resulted in quite fruitful, if unexpected, material. Legalization of prostitution in the Netherlands in 1999, international calls for the eradication of trafficking, expansion of the European Union into Eastern Europe, a worsening Dutch economy, and intensification of anti-immigration sentiments all resulted in Dutch government crackdowns on 'Eastern-European' sex workers and their subsequent movement underground. This environment and the disappearance of one of the two main populations of the research -- the Russian-speaking sex workers -- then became project's new focus. Interviews were conducted with Amsterdam government officials, police, and business-owners around the Red Light District. Newspaper articles and scholarly writing about Eastern-European sex workers and Eastern Europeans in general were collected. In addition, interviews and participant observation were conducted with non-governmental organizations working with migrants and sex workers. Consequently, the second research population of former-soviet street sellers featured more significantly within the general study of Russian speakers in Amsterdam, who were all concerned in one way or another with views about them as 'foreigners' and their relationship with Dutch society. Interviews and participant observation were conducted with former-Soviets on the streets, in their homes, and also during a month spent in Latvia and Lithuania with four of them. The researcher approached other Russian speakers for interviews in the main Amsterdam Russian Orthodox church, Russian stores, and on Russian-migrant websites. The result is an examination of the continuing importance of Cold-War ideas and stereotypes, European social and economic consolidation, and the effect this has had (both positive and negative) on former-Soviet migrants.
Merlan, Dr. Francesca C., Australian National U., Canberra, Australia - To aid research on 'Community and Society in Southern Germany'
DR. FRANCESCA C. MERLAN, of the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, received a grant in August 2001 to aid research on community and society in southern Germany. As part of a larger, continuing project, Merlan conducted field research and analysis on (1) Einheimischenmodelle, or Gemeinde-level legislative schemes that restrict and direct the development and sale of land to people able to claim 'indigenous' (einheimisch) status; (2) tensions and contestation over the inheritance of farming properties, given changes in land use and the exiting of some families from dairying in the region; and (3) Dorferneuerung, or 'village renewal' programs, as implemented with the intention of preserving village integrity and community life. In her overall project, Merlan was concerned with vernacular and (other) regulatory concepts of land, land use, work, and occupation in this part of southern Germany and with (generally conservative as well as 'illiberal' or communitarian) development practices. Her research was intended to inform a book placing the south German case in a broader, comparative framework, showing it to be one instance of the growth of 'indigenist' claims to land and belonging in a global context, a context in which land occupies a changing place among the productive factors in contemporary political economies of the developed world.
Erickson, Dr. Bradley Robert, Independent Scholar, Oakland, CA - To aid research on 'Convivència and Local Citizenship: A New Path for Islam in Europe?'
Preliminary Abstract: The project explores how Muslim communities grapple with isolation as they experiment with European plural modernity and novel forms of citizenship. This research centers on the region of Catalonia, Spain, where half of Spain's Muslims reside, and specifically, on the city of Vilanova i la Geltrú. The people of Vilanova--both hosts and immigrants--deploy the term convivència (engaged coexistence), as a discourse orienting ideals and practices of virtuous community life. Convivència constitutes a space of tension and negotiation that serves as a secular model for managing difference which has been embraced by the city's Muslim community. Convivència forms a new front of popular autonomy that is unmistakably both modern and sectarian, thereby assimilating religion and civil society. The key question is: how does convivència--a discourse with autochthonous Iberian roots and internationalist Islamic supports--conform to or challenge conventional understandings of citizenship and liberal pluralism? At a time of escalating tensions about Islam in Europe, this research contributes to our understanding of new possibilities of plural coexistence at the crossroads of ethics and politics.
Pavlovich, William Vladan, Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Displaced Persons, the Reinvigoration of Nationalism, and Challenges to European Integration in Serbia,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson
WILLIAM V. PAVLOVICH, then a student at Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Displaced Persons, the Reinvigoration of Nationalism, and Challenges to European Integration in Serbia,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson. Nearly one million ethnic Serbs from former Yugoslavia (i.e. Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo) have sought refuge in the Republic of Serbia since 1991. Comprising roughly twelve percent of the overall population, displaced persons have significantly altered the republic's demographic, ethnic, economic, social, cultural, and political landscape. This project investigates the development of an apparent causal relationship between displaced persons and the resurgence of nationalism in Serbia, and interrogates the qualities of that relationship. The leading nationalist party, the Serbian Radical Party, was poised to challenge the state's project of European integration until the party splintered in two after their inability to form a majority ruling coalition-despite strong results (nearly 30 percent)-whereby they lost to a pro-EU coalition in the 2008 parliamentary elections. This resulted in a 'sea-change' amongst the Serbian populace - both domicile and displaced - and prompted a series of public debates and reflection regarding the civic, national, and cultural identities of Serbian citizens. The study shows how displacement can be understood to be both process and event for domicile and displaced communities, one which enables interpretation at individual, local, and national levels of Serbian society, and one which informs the movement towards (or against) European integration.
Grill, Jan, U. of St. Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'On the Margins of the States: Contesting Roma Identifications and Belonging in the Slovak Borderlands,' supervised by Dr. Paloma Gay y Blasco
JAN GRILL, while a student at the University of St Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom, received a funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'On the Margins of the States: Contesting Roma Identifications and Belonging in the Slovak Borderlands,' supervised by Dr. Paloma Gay y Blasco. This project examined the making of Roma situated subjectivities at the margins of two states through ethnographic study of one village in eastern Slovakian borderlands and Roma labor migrants' networks in the industrial cities of Great Britain. By exploring Roma groups who find themselves largely excluded from the formal labor market and marginalized by the dominant societies, the research shows their migration mobility as a strategy enabling them to circumvent variously constraining social and symbolic orders, and to contest hegemonic racial and social categories historically placing them at the bottom of power hierarchies in the world defined by the dominant others. The research investigated how and to what extent various Roma actors and groupings embrace or resist the dominant public mis-representations of Gypsies and discourses of work ethic and morality interwoven within the imageries of 'proper' citizenship and sociality. The findings indicate how migrants reinvent the self's position through carving out a social space of their own by skilful maneuvering in between the two states' structures. The project ethnographically documents social conditions of migration and highlights the centrality of historically accumulated forms of capitals entrenched within the system of asymmetrical social differentiation both between the Roma and non-Roma, but also among the Roma themselves.
Rees, Dr. Tobias, McGill U., Montreal, Canada - To aid research on 'The Plastic Brain: An Ethnography of the Emergence of Adult Cerebral Plasticity Research and its Impact on Neuroscience as We Knew it'
Preliminary abstract: For much of the twentieth century the human brain was viewed as a neurochemical machine organized in synaptic circuits, governed by synaptic communication. What led neuroscientists to assign the synapse such a privileged role were two nineteenth century observations -- that humans are born with a definite number of neurons and that, once development ended, the neuronal structure becomes essentially fixed. Synapses, specifically synaptic communication, appeared as the only dynamic element of an otherwise immutable brain and were henceforth seen as the key for understanding the nervous system. When, in the late 1990s, first reports on the massive birth of new neurons in the adult human brain were reported, the century old belief in adult cerebral fixity was profoundly shattered -- and the centrality of the synapse doubted.
In this project I ethnographically explore the most sweeping impact the rise of adult neurogenesis research has on neuroscientific understandings of the brain, its diseases, and its humans. I document the shift away from a thoroughly fixed to a profoundly plastic vision of homo cerebralis.
Horner Brackett, Rachel Anne, U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - To aid research on ''Eat it to Save it': Risk and the Slow Food Movement,' supervised by Dr. Erica Stephanie Prussing
RACHEL A. HORNER BRACKETT, then a student at University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on ''Eat It to Save It:' Risk and the Slow Food Movement,' supervised by Dr. Erica Prussing. The Slow Food Movement outlines the risks of 'fast' food and living, targeting issues such as sustainability, loss of culinary traditions, unethical rural development, and vanishing biodiversity. How are the discourses of risks described by this movement translated by and through a milieu of diverse local histories and locally defined values surrounding food? To answer this question, research was conducted with Slow Food groups in Tuscany and Iowa from September 2008 to September 2009. This research was comprised of two related but distinct efforts: 1) a critical discourse analysis of Slow Food's stated missions, through evaluations of the media, public relations efforts, publications, and Slow Food events; and 2) the ethnographic study of local efforts to address food risks by Slow Food chapters and related organizations. Risk to place and tradition is emphasized in Italy, where breeds like the Cinta Senese pig are highlighted by Slow Food because they are symbolic of disappearing cultural landscapes and cultural knowledge. In the U.S., where the bureaucratization of a corporate food chain is seen as a major threat, Slow Food groups engage in overtly political contex