This book concerns the Beijing Hutong and changing perceptions of space, of social relations and of self, as processes of urban redevelopment remove Hutong dwellers from their traditional homes to new high-rise apartments. It addresses questions of how space is humanly built and transformed, classified and differentiated, and most importantly how space is perceived and experienced. This study elaborates and expands Lefebvre s trialectic of space on a theoretical level. The ethnography presented is a conversation with Tim Ingold s argument about empty space . This research employs the ethnographic technique of participant-observation to secure a finely textured, detailed and micro-social account of local experience. Then, these micro-social insights are contextualized within macro-social structures of Chinese modernism by speaking to geographical concerns, orientalism and history.
Distortion occurs between the intentions of actions and their outcomes. It can also occur between thoughts and actions; between words and how they are interpreted; between a statement of law or a policy and its enactment; between a vision and its artistic representation; and between a cultural tradition or habitus and its animation in contemporary contexts. Escaping the bounds of relationality, of structuration and of systemics, distortion is a form of complex connectedness that has seldom been addressed in the social sciences as a phenomenon in its own right.
This book argues that instances of distortion are an important and, paradoxically, habitual aspect of human psychical and social life. The chapters in this book, each based on an ethnographic case-study, all work to put the concept of distortion into effect. How does the conceptualization of distortion further the comprehension of a particular ethnographic situation? Indeed, how does the ethnographic case-study throw a particular light on distortion as a phenomenon?
Coming to terms with distortion adds much to a social-scientific appreciation of human activity and creativity, of conscious experience, of the nature of social interaction and exchange, and of the complexity of social milieu. The book should be essential reading on senior undergraduate and postgraduate modules on social theory, contemporary issues and methodologies, communication, sociality, materiality, and intersectionality.
In a time of intellectual uncertainty, the question of how we know what we do about human lives becomes ever more pressing. The essays collated in this volume argue that anthropology can be used to acknowledge, explore and interpret divergence and ideological conflict over human meaning.
Using questions raised as part of the Enlightenment movement, this volume is structured around some of the key themes the Enlightenment fostered, including human nature, time, Earth and the Cosmos, beauty, order, harmony and design, moral sentiments, and the query of whether wealthy nations make for healthy publics. The volume focuses in particular on how 'moral sentiment' offered a guiding idea in Enlightenment thought. The idea of 'moral sentiment' is central to the essays' grappling with the ethical anxieties of contemporary anthropology. The essays therefore trace historical connections and fissures and focus on Adam Smith's attempts toward an understanding of what would later be called 'modernity'. With an afterword from Marilyn Strathern, this volume will be a strong addition to the Association of Social Anthropologists conference proceedings.
Given the anthropological focus on ethnography as a kind of deep immersion, the interview poses theoretical and methodological challenges for the discipline. This volume explores those challenges and argues that the interview should be seen as a special, productive site of ethnographic encounter, a site of a very particular and important kind of knowing. In a range of social contexts and cultural settings, contributors show how the interview is experienced and imagined as a kind of space within which personal, biographic and social cues and norms can be explored and interrogated. The interview possesses its own authenticity, therefore-true to the persons involved and true to their moment of interaction-whilst at the same time providing information on human capacities and proclivities that is generalizable beyond particular social and cultural contexts.
Global movement is commonly characterized as one of the quintessential experiences of our age. Market forces, territorial conflicts and environmental changes uproot an increasing number of people, while mass communication, travel, tourism, and a global market of commodities, texts, tastes, fashions and ideologies place individuals more than ever in a global arena. As traditional conceptions of individuals as members of stationary, fixed and separate societies and cultures no longer convince, to what extent does movement become central to individuals' self-conceptions? How do people cultivate, negotiate, nurture and maintain an identity? To what extent do individuals become migrants of identity' whose home is movement?
Defining home' as where one best knows oneself', this pioneering book explores the various ways in which people perceive themselves to be at home' in today's world. Through a series of case studies, authors show that for a world of travellers, labour migrants, exiles and commuters, home' comes to be found in behavioural routines and techniques, in styles of dress and address, in memories, myths and stories, in jokes and opinions. In short, people who live their lives in movement make sense of their lives as movement."
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