19 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2019
    1. since being good at being a warden (embodying the state) was more meaningful to him than being a good warden (represent-ing the state).

      I'm confused about the village's relationship to the state at this point in time. Do they like the state? Is it a source of pride to work for the state?

    2. The Underneath of the Infrastructure

      Pederson is describing the chaos that descended during the post-socialist period, when there was a lot less consistency in people's everyday lives. The feeling of uncertainty caused people to believe the shamanic spirits were waking up and meddling in things like their electricity and infrastructure. When the lights went out and people's electricity was cut, it added to the unease because the spirits were said to be more active in darkness. Pederson also discusses the link between infrastructure and socialist modernity. When the lights went out, it signified the end of the socialist era and the beginning of the instability.

  2. Nov 2019
    1. “Let me give you a piece of advice,” he said. “When you speak to the patients, it’s better to tell them you’re a psychologist. They’re used to speaking to people like that.”

      This passage shows a bit of the approach to power relations in a hospital context in russia and how that might complicate anthropological research. It is unethical to present yourself as something you're not, but at the same time the anthropologist wants to get useful data. Narcology is based around helping those with substance abuse, and part of that is studying the patients psychologically. By presenting yourself as a psychologist, you would be framing yourself as someone involved in their treatment process, and someone that has power over the patient.

    1. refusals—a willful distancing from state-driven forms of recognition and sociability in favor of others.

      I think this kind of refusal, where one refuses the sovereignty of the state and its membership, comes largely from differing values. Historically the Kahnawa’kehró:non people would not have had the same power structure as a nation-state because it does not make sense for a group so much smaller and lacking the same neoliberalist agenda. It comes with a great amount of pride for one's own nation and resilience for one's own culture.

    2. a refusal to vote, to pay taxes, to stop politically being Iroquois.

      At first this seems shortsighted, to refuse the right to vote. Voting is the main way people living in a democracy can have choice in how their nation is run. The Mohawk people do not vote even though they are technically in Canada and affected by its policies. But I think this type of political refusal is very powerful in its own way, because why should they vote if they do not want the "benefits" of being Canadian citizens anyway?

    3. refuse

      One part of this "refusal" that the author indicates is due to assumptions that indigenous people want the privileges and programs that come with citizenship. By refusing, say, the Canadian passport, a symbol of nationalism and pride for being a citizen, they also refuse citizenship of the colonizer.

    1. fair trade


      This page mentions a few aspects of their fair trade model such as employing women, not allowing children to work in their factories, encouraging environmental sustainability, and showcasing traditional artisan work. In Fisher's article he mentions that the ethics of the consumer often lay in the desire to have things that are 'indigenous' as a status symbol. If that was the consumer's desire, the things that you can buy from somewhere like ten thousand villages would definitely make that easy to do. Some things like fair trade coffee, you can't really tell it's fair trade other than if someone tells you it is. But with things like buying fair trade scarves made from saris, you can easily tell that the item is 'exotic' and I could see how some people might wear them as a status symbol. The status of being able to afford helping the 'poor'.

    2. If production is as ethically complex as consumption, apromising path forward is the moral economy, which callsattention to local economic moralities and political-ethicalresponses prompted by the violation of existing moralrelations. When fair trade encounters the historic planta-tion system of Darjeeling, India, for instance, it also con-verges with a “tripartite moral economy” linking workers,managers, and the agro-environment in moral and affec-tive relation (Besky 2013). In this context, fair trade appearsto Indian producers as less a transformative political move-ment than another capital-drivenbisnisstrategy. Similarly,when export markets for fair trade bananas in St. Luciaand Dominica collapsed, the fair trade system itself cameinto question as a viable source of community develop-ment as well as freedom and hope in the postcolonialperiod, symbolized above all by autonomous agriculturalproduction (Moberg 2014). In other words, focusing onmoral economies requires serious ethnographic consider-ation of those events that transpire when global projectslike fair trade and development touch down in other moralworlds (Arce 2009). The ethical perspectives of produc-ers, from Mexico to India to Papua New Guinea, are notthe same as consumers’ (Carrier 2010). Moreover, whilefair trade may appear grounded in a universal morality, itactually exports aparticularmorality—one that mixes aChristian ethic of care with a liberal humanist social ideol-ogy and a neoliberal economic agenda—on a global scale(Besky 2015; West 2012, 240).

      This paragraph summed up the author's point quite nicely. There are two perspectives: the ethical consumers', and the ethical producers'. These could be two very different things depending on their cultural backgrounds. I think what the author is saying is that the mentality of 'saving' people needs to be dropped and instead look at someone's actual needs in their own environment and allow them the autonomy to look after those needs. As a consumer, buying fair trade does not necessarily mean supporting dignified work even if it supports fair wages.

  3. Oct 2019
    1. According to city water rules, settlersare sanctioned pipes ranging from half an inch to an inch in diameter. Becauseservice mains are often located at some distance from settlers’ homes, theseslender pipes often travel great distances to settlers’ homes. Because pipes also runabove ground, they are vulnerable to breaking, leaking, or getting blocked everyfew years.

      The video I watched is a perfect representation of this. Clusters of pipes can be seen haphazardly in every alleyway, some leaking puddles of water around them where they've been punctured or twisted. In some places people can be seen doing their laundry or their dishes in the alleyway, presumably because the outdoor spigot is where they're getting enough water pressure to do so. The video footage is really fantastic at showing this visually, but when the video-maker begins to interview other citizens, probably about their water, I wonder how effective this is at collecting the specific data that the ethnographer is looking for. If the ethnographer is having to transcribe all of the videos and not all of the content is relevant, there's a lot of time spent on details that won't be used. A benefit to giving citizens the camera to document their surroundings is that they know their environment best, and they are able to capture it without the people around them being hyperaware of their presence. They can document their surroundings in the most natural way, and that's quite evident in the clip that I watched.

    1. Progressis a forwardmarch,drawingotherkindsof timeinto itsrhythms.Withoutthat drivingbeat,we mightnoticeothertemporalpatterns.Eachlivingthingremakesthe worldthroughseasonalpulsesof growth,lifetimereproductivepatterns,and geographiesof expan-sion. Withina givenspecies,too, thereare multipletime-makingprojects,as organismsenlisteachotherand coordinatein makinglandscapes.(Theregrowthof the cutoverCascadesand Hiroshima’sradioecologyeachshowus multispeciestimemaking.)The curiosityI] advocatefol-lowssuchmultipletemporalities,revitalizingdescriptionand imagina-tion.Thisis not a simpleempiricism,in whichthe worldinventsitsowncategories.Instead,agnosticaboutwherewe are going,we mightlookfor whathas beenignoredbecauseit neverfit the timeline ofprogress.

      Again, using "progress" as a term to describe humanity's need to move forward, to grow economically, Tsing questions whether our perspective on progress is a good one. In this passage she's saying that humans are so drawn to this concept of progress that they fail to recognise other forms of progress such as the one that the natural world takes. It makes the natural resource into a thing that can be used rather than respected when its own form of progress is undermined by our capitalistic one.

    2. progress,

      This is the first of many times "progress" is mentioned. I think the first thing we think of when we hear progress is a positive connotation, the feeling of moving forward. However, Tsing uses "progress" in a sort of satyrical way. Her argument is that the industrial capitalist definition of progress is actually moving humanity backwards because it involves ruining our planet in the process.

    1. Newman, Oscar

      I read a few pages from the chapter "Defensible Space: A New Physical Planning Tool for Urban Revitalization". I was amazed by the fact that considering what Newman is advocating for, (white, middle-class exclusive neighbourhoods with gates and walls) he is renowned for "racial integration". In his book he was essentially saying that the movement of lower-class people and immigrants to middle-class neighbourhoods is the reason for crime and that nobody has done city planning with this in mind, hence increased crime rates. This is all very contradictory to what Low is trying to convey, that gated communities increase fear of the "others" and increase racism and xenophobia. Also that crime rates are going down rather than increasing.

    2. I think it's interesting that Alvin mentions education, that the community used to be very well-educated and somehow their sense of the role of family was a thing learned in college, and now it's different. Without Barbara saying "it's ethnic changes", the reader wouldn't know exactly what Alvin was alluding to. It shows that this couple links education and ethnicity in a way that might mean people of a different ethnicity are uneducated, and therefore don't value family or a sense of community as much as they do. Perhaps these 'less educated' people are even dangerous. It very plainly shows underlying racism.

  4. Sep 2019
    1. Live fieldnoting seems to be a transparent, convenient, and accessible way to share your research with the world. However, I do see a few issues that come with it. For example, if you're using instagram to make your live fieldnotes, the public might see your work as unprofessional because anybody can post anything to instagram. There is no "peer review" option or a governing body that assesses if your work is of quality. Secondly, the instantaneous nature of your notes makes it difficult to actually give yourself time to criticize your own work before it's shared; is it reflexive? The argument for this is the concept of "open ethnography" which is a neat idea, but opening your research to the public to comment on could result in a lot of people (that don't actually understand what you are researching) posting uneducated opinions that other readers might confuse as fact.

    1. around oil interests

      It would be interesting to look at just this one aspect, the oil industry, and pick apart America's hand in it in respect to the war. It seems they overlooked their own responsibility in causing unnecessary violence to the Afghan people while at the same time prioritising their agenda in the oil industry as if the war they were waging wasn't connecting all of these things together. It's funny to me that they thought of themselves as saviours to the Afghan women by having American troops there, while many of the atrocities happening to those women were because of the war that America started.

    2. The reason

      Similar to what we were talking about in class. We cannot overlook human injustices with the veil of cultural relativism, as in the case of the holocaust. But it is also important to not be in the business of "saving" people with the stance that your culture is superior to theirs.

    3. Beauty without Borders

      This is probably the funniest concept I've heard of - applying westernized beauty standards to women in another culture as an act of "charity". The same beauty standards that have been criticized for imposing ideals of 'the perfect woman' in the form of weight shaming and marketing THOUSANDS of makeup and anti-aging products.

    1. authenticity.Figure

      An interesting image. A "terroir" wine is denoted by a place of cultural or historical significance, but the wall in the image is a stark reminder of the divided cultures that dispute that same place.

    2. Theappropriation

      Term: Appropriation. As defined by the oxford dictionary, " an action of taking something for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission." The wine became popular mainly because of its cultural attributes, or "terroir" by Israeli marketers. The "indigeneity" of the wine, however, lies in its Palestinian roots.