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Life Beside Itself

Author: Lisa Stevenson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520958551
Size: 67.61 MB
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In Life Beside Itself, Lisa Stevenson takes us on a haunting ethnographic journey through two historical moments when life for the Canadian Inuit has hung in the balance: the tuberculosis epidemic (1940s to the early 1960s) and the subsequent suicide epidemic (1980s to the present). Along the way, Stevenson troubles our commonsense understanding of what life is and what it means to care for the life of another. Through close attention to the images in which we think and dream and through which we understand the world, Stevenson describes a world in which life is beside itself: the name-soul of a teenager who dies in a crash lives again in his friend’s newborn baby, a young girl shares a last smoke with a dead friend in a dream, and the possessed hands of a clock spin uncontrollably over its face. In these contexts, humanitarian policies make little sense because they attempt to save lives by merely keeping a body alive. For the Inuit, and perhaps for all of us, life is "somewhere else," and the task is to articulate forms of care for others that are adequate to that truth.

A War On People

Author: Jarrett Zigon
Publisher:
ISBN: 0520297695
Size: 45.87 MB
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"A War on People takes up two interrelated concerns increasingly of import to political anthropologists and theorists. The first is the seemingly widespread lack of motivation for participating in political activity. The second is the political and intellectual focus on critique rather than offering alternatives for possible futures. This book addresses these concerns by offering an ethnographically and theoretically rich look at the political and ethical activity of some unlikely political actors - active and former users of heroin and crack cocaine. Despite this unlikelihood, however, this book shows and argues that the globally-networked anti-drug war movement organized and run by drug users is, in fact, at the forefront of offering an alternative political and social imaginary. In particular, the book focuses on how this anti-drug war imaginary and political activity is enacting non-normative, open, and relationally-inclusive alternatives to such key ethical-political concepts as community, freedom and care. Ultimately, A War on People argues that in a contemporary condition increasingly characterized by widely-diffused complexity and war as governance, an anthropology of potentiality is needed to discern and creatively conceptualize the emerging not-yet of the worlds we research and inhabit"--Provided by publisher.

Studying Arctic Fields

Author: Ricard C. Powell
Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP
ISBN: 0773552561
Size: 29.22 MB
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In recent years the circumpolar region has emerged as the key to understanding global climate change. The plight of the polar bear, resource extraction debates, indigenous self-determination, and competing definitions of sovereignty among Arctic nation-states have brought the northernmost part of the planet to the forefront of public consideration. Yet little is reported about the social world of environmental scientists in the Arctic. What happens at the isolated sites where experts seek to answer the most pressing questions facing the future of humanity? Portraying the social lives of scientists at Resolute in Nunavut and their interactions with logistical staff and Inuit, Richard Powell demonstrates that the scientific community is structured along power differentials in response to gender, class, and race. To explain these social dynamics the author examines the history and vision of the Government of Canada’s Polar Continental Shelf Program and John Diefenbaker’s “Northern Vision,” combining ethnography with wider discourses on nationalism, identity, and the postwar evolution of scientific sovereignty in the high Arctic. By revealing an expanded understanding of the scientific life as it relates to politics, history, and cultures, Studying Arctic Fields articulates a new theory of field research. Advocating for a greater appreciation of science in the remote parts of the world, Studying Arctic Fields is an innovative approach to anthropology, environmental inquiry, and geography, and a landmark statement on Arctic science as a social practice.