Social Science

Roads

An Anthropology of Infrastructure and Expertise

Author: Penny Harvey,Hannah Knox

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801456452

Category: Social Science

Page: 264

View: 2152

Roads matter to people. This claim is central to the work of Penny Harvey and Hannah Knox, who in this book use the example of highway building in South America to explore what large public infrastructural projects can tell us about contemporary state formation, social relations, and emerging political economies. Roads focuses on two main sites: the interoceanic highway currently under construction between Brazil and Peru, a major public/private collaboration that is being realized within new, internationally ratified regulatory standards; and a recently completed one-hundred-kilometer stretch of highway between Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon, and a small town called Nauta, one of the earliest colonial settlements in the Amazon. The Iquitos-Nauta highway is one of the most expensive roads per kilometer on the planet. Combining ethnographic and historical research, Harvey and Knox shed light on the work of engineers and scientists, bureaucrats and construction company officials. They describe how local populations anticipated each of the road projects, even getting deeply involved in questions of exact routing as worries arose that the road would benefit some more than others. Connectivity was a key recurring theme as people imagined the prosperity that will come by being connected to other parts of the country and with other parts of the world. Sweeping in scope and conceptually ambitious, Roads tells a story of global flows of money, goods, and people—and of attempts to stabilize inherently unstable physical and social environments.
History

Signal and Noise

Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria

Author: Brian Larkin

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822341086

Category: History

Page: 313

View: 6481

DIVExamines the role of media technologies in shaping urban Africa through an ethnographic study of popular culture in northern Nigeria./div
Social Science

An Anthropology of the Machine

Tokyo's Commuter Train Network

Author: Michael Fisch

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022655869X

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 3812

With its infamously packed cars and disciplined commuters, Tokyo’s commuter train network is one of the most complex technical infrastructures on Earth. In An Anthropology of the Machine, Michael Fisch provides a nuanced perspective on how Tokyo’s commuter train network embodies the lived realities of technology in our modern world. Drawing on his fine-grained knowledge of transportation, work, and everyday life in Tokyo, Fisch shows how fitting into a system that operates on the extreme edge of sustainability can take a physical and emotional toll on a community while also creating a collective way of life—one with unique limitations and possibilities. An Anthropology of the Machine is a creative ethnographic study of the culture, history, and experience of commuting in Tokyo. At the same time, it is a theoretically ambitious attempt to think through our very relationship with technology and our possible ecological futures. Fisch provides an unblinking glimpse into what it might be like to inhabit a future in which more and more of our infrastructure—and the planet itself—will have to operate beyond capacity to accommodate our ever-growing population.
House & Home

Reversed Realities

Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought

Author: Naila Kabeer

Publisher: Verso

ISBN: 9780860915843

Category: House & Home

Page: 346

View: 9565

Reversed Realities uncovers the deeply entrenched, hence barely visible, biases which underpin mainstream development theory and account for the marginal status given to women's needs in current development policy. Naila Kabeer traces the emergence of “women” as a specific category in development thought and examines alternative frameworks for analyzing gender hierarchies. She identifies the household as a primary site for the construction of power relations and compares the extent to which gender inequalities are revealed in different approaches to the concept of the family unit. The book assesses the inadequacies of the poverty line as a measuring tool and provides a critical overview of an issue that has been fiercely contested by feminists: population control. While feminists themselves have no unanimous view of the meaning of “reproductive choice,” Kabeer argues that it is imperative for them to take a lead in the construction of population policy.
Technology & Engineering

ROADS TO POWER

Author: Jo Guldi

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674057593

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 309

View: 8011

Guldi narrates how Britain built the first nation connected by infrastructure, how a libertarian revolution destroyed a national economy, and how technology caused strangers to stop speaking. The new infrastructure state saw unprecedented control by bureaucrats over everyday life and gave rise to competing visions of community still debated today.

The Road

Author: Dimitris Dalakoglou

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 1526109344

Category:

Page: 216

View: 1024

This book is an ethnographic and historical study of the main Albania-Greece highway. But more than an ethnography on the road, it is an anthropology of the road. Highways are part of an explicit cultural-material nexus that includes houses, urban architecture and vehicles. Complex socio-political phenomena such as EU border security, nationalist politics, post-Cold War capitalism and financial crises all leave their mark in the concrete. This book explores anew classical anthropological and sociological categories of analysis in direct reference to infrastructure, providing unique insights into the political and cultural processes that took place across Europe after the Cold War. More specifically, it sheds light on political and economic relationships in the Balkans during the socialist post-Cold War period, focusing especially on Albania, one of the most under-researched countries in the region.
Social Science

Objects and Materials

A Routledge Companion

Author: Penny Harvey,Eleanor Conlin Casella,Gillian Evans,Hannah Knox,Christine McLean,Elizabeth B. Silva,Nicholas Thoburn,Kath Woodward

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317577736

Category: Social Science

Page: 422

View: 5057

There is broad acceptance across the Humanities and Social Sciences that our deliberations on the social need to take place through attention to practice, to object-mediated relations, to non-human agency and to the affective dimensions of human sociality. This Companion focuses on the objects and materials found at centre stage, and asks: what matters about objects? Objects and Materials explores the field, providing succinct summary accounts of contemporary scholarship, along with a wealth of new research investigating the capacity of objects to shape, unsettle and exceed expectations. Original chapters from over forty international, interdisciplinary contributors address an array of objects and materials to ask what the terms of collaborations with objects and materials are, and to consider how these collaborations become integral to our understandings of the complex, relational dynamics that fashion social worlds. Objects and Materials will be of interest to students and scholars across the social sciences and humanities, including in sociology, social theory, science and technology studies, history, anthropology, archaeology, gender studies, women’s studies, geography, cultural studies, politics and international relations, and philosophy.
Social Science

Democracy's Infrastructure

Techno-Politics and Protest after Apartheid

Author: Antina von Schnitzler

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400882990

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 6750

In the past decade, South Africa's "miracle transition" has been interrupted by waves of protests in relation to basic services such as water and electricity. Less visibly, the post-apartheid period has witnessed widespread illicit acts involving infrastructure, including the nonpayment of service charges, the bypassing of metering devices, and illegal connections to services. Democracy’s Infrastructure shows how such administrative links to the state became a central political terrain during the antiapartheid struggle and how this terrain persists in the post-apartheid present. Focusing on conflicts surrounding prepaid water meters, Antina von Schnitzler examines the techno-political forms through which democracy takes shape. Von Schnitzler explores a controversial project to install prepaid water meters in Soweto—one of many efforts to curb the nonpayment of service charges that began during the antiapartheid struggle—and she traces how infrastructure, payment, and technical procedures become sites where citizenship is mediated and contested. She follows engineers, utility officials, and local bureaucrats as they consider ways to prompt Sowetans to pay for water, and she shows how local residents and activists wrestle with the constraints imposed by meters. This investigation of democracy from the perspective of infrastructure reframes the conventional story of South Africa’s transition, foregrounding the less visible remainders of apartheid and challenging readers to think in more material terms about citizenship and activism in the postcolonial world. Democracy’s Infrastructure examines how seemingly mundane technological domains become charged territory for struggles over South Africa’s political transformation.
History

Aramis, or, The love of technology

Author: Bruno Latour

Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 314

View: 4765

Bruno Latour has written a unique and wonderful tale of a technological dream gone wrong. As the young engineer and professor follow Aramis' trail--conducting interviews, analyzing documents, assessing the evidence--perspectives keep shifting: the truth is revealed as multilayered, unascertainable, comprising an array of possibilities worthy of Rashomon. The reader is eventually led to see the project from the point of view of Aramis, and along the way gains insight into the relationship between human beings and their technological creations. This charming and profound book, part novel and part sociological study, is Latour at his thought-provoking best.
Social Science

Engineers of Happy Land

Technology and Nationalism in a Colony

Author: Rudolf Mrázek

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691186936

Category: Social Science

Page: N.A

View: 9698

Based on close reading of historical documents--poetry as much as statistics--and focused on the conceptualization of technology, this book is an unconventional evocation of late colonial Netherlands East Indies (today Indonesia). In considering technology and the ways that people use and think about things, Rudolf Mrázek invents an original way to talk about freedom, colonialism, nationalism, literature, revolution, and human nature. The central chapters comprise vignettes and take up, in turn, transportation (from shoes to road-building to motorcycle clubs), architecture (from prison construction to home air-conditioning), optical technologies (from photography to fingerprinting), clothing and fashion, and the introduction of radio and radio stations. The text clusters around a group of fascinating recurring characters representing colonialism, nationalism, and the awkward, inevitable presence of the European cultural, intellectual, and political avant-garde: Tillema, the pharmacist-author of Kromoblanda; the explorer/engineer IJzerman; the "Javanese princess" Kartina; the Indonesia nationalist journalist Mas Marco; the Dutch novelist Couperus; the Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer; and Dutch left-wing liberal Wim Wertheim and his wife. In colonial Indies, as elsewhere, people employed what Proust called "remembering" and what Heidegger called "thinging" to sense and make sense of the world. In using this observation to approach Indonesian society, Mrázek captures that society off balance, allowing us to see it in unfamiliar positions. The result is a singular work with surprises for readers throughout the social sciences, not least those interested in Southeast Asia or colonialism more broadly.
Social Science

Hydraulic City

Water and the Infrastructures of Citizenship in Mumbai

Author: Nikhil Anand

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822373599

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 8798

In Hydraulic City Nikhil Anand explores the politics of Mumbai's water infrastructure to demonstrate how citizenship emerges through the continuous efforts to control, maintain, and manage the city's water. Through extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Mumbai's settlements, Anand found that Mumbai's water flows, not through a static collection of pipes and valves, but through a dynamic infrastructure built on the relations between residents, plumbers, politicians, engineers, and the 3,000 miles of pipe that bind them. In addition to distributing water, the public water network often reinforces social identities and the exclusion of marginalized groups, as only those actively recognized by city agencies receive legitimate water services. This form of recognition—what Anand calls "hydraulic citizenship"—is incremental, intermittent, and reversible. It provides residents an important access point through which they can make demands on the state for other public services such as sanitation and education. Tying the ways Mumbai's poorer residents are seen by the state to their historic, political, and material relations with water pipes, the book highlights the critical role infrastructures play in consolidating civic and social belonging in the city.
Social Science

The broken village

coffee, migration, and globalization in Honduras

Author: Daniel R. Reichman

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801463084

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 7826

In The Broken Village, Daniel R. Reichman tells the story of a remote village in Honduras that transformed almost overnight from a sleepy coffee-growing community to a hotbed of undocumented migration to and from the United States. The small village-called here by the pseudonym La Quebrada-was once home to a thriving coffee economy. Recently, it has become dependent on migrants working in distant places like Long Island and South Dakota, who live in ways that most Honduran townspeople struggle to comprehend or explain. Reichman explores how the new "migration economy" has upended cultural ideas of success and failure, family dynamics, and local politics. During his time in La Quebrada, Reichman focused on three different strategies for social reform-a fledgling coffee cooperative that sought to raise farmer incomes and establish principles of fairness and justice through consumer activism; religious campaigns for personal morality that were intended to counter the corrosive effects of migration; and local discourses about migrant "greed" that labeled migrants as the cause of social crisis, rather than its victims. All three phenomena had one common trait: They were settings in which people presented moral visions of social welfare in response to a perceived moment of crisis. The Broken Village integrates sacred and secular ideas of morality, legal and cultural notions of justice, to explore how different groups define social progress.
Social Science

The Promise of Infrastructure

Author: Nikhil Anand,Akhil Gupta,Hannah Appel

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 1478002034

Category: Social Science

Page: 264

View: 5564

From U.S.-Mexico border walls to Flint's poisoned pipes, there is a new urgency to the politics of infrastructure. Roads, electricity lines, water pipes, and oil installations promise to distribute the resources necessary for everyday life. Yet an attention to their ongoing processes also reveals how infrastructures are made with fragile and often violent relations among people, materials, and institutions. While infrastructures promise modernity and development, their breakdowns and absences reveal the underbelly of progress, liberal equality, and economic growth. This tension, between aspiration and failure, makes infrastructure a productive location for social theory. Contributing to the everyday lives of infrastructure across four continents, some of the leading anthropologists of infrastructure demonstrate in The Promise of Infrastructure how these more-than-human assemblages made over more-than-human lifetimes offer new opportunities to theorize time, politics, and promise in the contemporary moment. Contributors Nikhil Anand, Hannah Appel, Geoffrey C. Bowker, Dominic Boyer, Akhil Gupta, Penny Harvey, Brian Larkin, Christina Schwenkel, Antina von Schnitzler
Medical

An Anthropology of Biomedicine

Author: Margaret Lock,Vinh-Kim Nguyen

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1119069130

Category: Medical

Page: 560

View: 4480

"Edition History: Margaret Lock and Vinh-Kim Nguyen (1e, 2010) published by Blackwell Ltd."--T.p. verso.
History

Pipe Politics, Contested Waters

Embedded Infrastructures of Millennial Mumbai

Author: Lisa Björkman

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822375214

Category: History

Page: 296

View: 4072

Winner, 2014 Joseph W. Elder Prize in the Indian Social Sciences Despite Mumbai's position as India's financial, economic, and cultural capital, water is chronically unavailable for rich and poor alike. Mumbai's dry taps are puzzling, given that the city does not lack for either water or financial resources. In Pipe Politics, Contested Waters, Lisa Björkman shows how an elite dream to transform Mumbai into a "world class" business center has wreaked havoc on the city’s water pipes. In rich ethnographic detail, Pipe Politics explores how the everyday work of getting water animates and inhabits a penumbra of infrastructural activity—of business, brokerage, secondary markets, and sociopolitical networks—whose workings are reconfiguring and rescaling political authority in the city. Mumbai’s increasingly illegible and volatile hydrologies, Björkman argues, are lending infrastructures increasing political salience just as actual control over pipes and flows becomes contingent on dispersed and intimate assemblages of knowledge, power, and material authority. These new arenas of contestation reveal the illusory and precarious nature of the project to remake Mumbai in the image of Shanghai or Singapore and gesture instead toward the highly contested futures and democratic possibilities of the actually existing city.
Business & Economics

Bulldozer

Demolition and Clearance of the Postwar Landscape

Author: Francesca Russello Ammon

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300200684

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 400

View: 1845

The first history of the bulldozer and its transformation from military weapon to essential tool for creating the post World War II American landscape"
Science

Material Politics

Disputes Along the Pipeline

Author: Andrew Barry

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 111852909X

Category: Science

Page: 264

View: 316

In Material Politics, author Andrew Barry reveals that as we are beginning to attend to the importance of materials in political life, materials has become increasingly bound up with the production of information about their performance, origins, and impact. Presents an original theoretical approach to political geography by revealing the paradoxical relationship between materials and politics Explores how political disputes have come to revolve not around objects in isolation, but objects that are entangled in ever growing quantities of information about their performance, origins, and impact Studies the example of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline – a fascinating experiment in transparency and corporate social responsibility – and its wide-spread negative political impact Capitalizes on the growing interdisciplinary interest, especially within geography and social theory, about the critical role of material artefacts in political life
Economic assistance

Cultivating Development : An Ethnography Of Aid Policy And Practice

Author: David Mosse

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9788178296012

Category: Economic assistance

Page: 336

View: 3394

Based on a detailed account of an actual development project, this book addresses an important question: Is development practice actually driven by policy? Development agencies and researchers are preoccupied with policy; with exerting influence over policy; linking research to policy, and with implementing policy around the world. In this book, David Mosse argues that rather than being driven by policy, development practice is actually shaped by the exigencies of organisations and the need to maintain relationships. At the same time, however, development actors work hard at maintaining the fiction of representing authorised policy in their actions. This book (which can be characterised as being a social investigation) asks pertinent questions about international aid, in particular of British aid for rural development. It does so by examining in depth the experience of a development project in western India over a period of more than ten years and as it falls under different policy regimes. Mosse analyses development processes in the light of the broad experience of the project workers (which included himself), even if it means destabilising policy representations. The book is a compelling re-examination of the politics and ethics of engaging with development and a rare self-critical reflection practice.
Social Science

The Death of Expertise

The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters

Author: Tom Nichols

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190469439

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 5601

People are now exposed to more information than ever before, provided both by technology and by increasing access to every level of education. These societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Today, everyone knows everything: with only a quick trip through WebMD or Wikipedia, average citizens believe themselves to be on an equal intellectual footing with doctors and diplomats. All voices, even the most ridiculous, demand to be taken with equal seriousness, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as undemocratic elitism. As Tom Nichols shows in The Death of Expertise, this rejection of experts has occurred for many reasons, including the openness of the internet, the emergence of a customer satisfaction model in higher education, and the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine. Paradoxically, the increasingly democratic dissemination of information, rather than producing an educated public, has instead created an army of ill-informed and angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement. Nichols has deeper concerns than the current rejection of expertise and learning, noting that when ordinary citizens believe that no one knows more than anyone else, democratic institutions themselves are in danger of falling either to populism or to technocracy-or in the worst case, a combination of both. The Death of Expertise is not only an exploration of a dangerous phenomenon but also a warning about the stability and survival of modern democracy in the Information Age.
Social Science

Experimental Collaborations

Ethnography through Fieldwork Devices

Author: Adolfo Estalella,Tomás Sánchez Criado

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 1785338544

Category: Social Science

Page: 236

View: 9222

In the accounts compiled in this book, ethnography occurs through processes of material and social interventions that turn the field into a site for epistemic collaboration. Through creative interventions that unfold what we term as “fieldwork devices”—such as coproduced books, the circulation of repurposed data, co-organized events, authorization protocols, relational frictions, and social rhythms—anthropologists engage with their counterparts in the field in the construction of joint anthropological problematizations. In these situations, the traditional tropes of the fieldwork encounter (i.e. immersion and distance) give way to a narrative of intervention, where the aesthetics of collaboration in the production of knowledge substitutes or intermingles with participant observation. Building on this, the book proposes the concept of “experimental collaborations” to describe and conceptualize this distinctive ethnographic modality.