Matching Items (14)

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Entanglements of "living heritage: ecomuseum development in rural China

Description

Museums are gaining increasing attention throughout the world for their ability to foster social inclusion, intercultural dialogue, and collaboration in practices of heritage management, exhibition, and interpretation. This dissertation aims

Museums are gaining increasing attention throughout the world for their ability to foster social inclusion, intercultural dialogue, and collaboration in practices of heritage management, exhibition, and interpretation. This dissertation aims to contribute a critical perspective on museums as agents of social change through an exploration of new museological practices in contemporary China. Through an ethnography of the ecomuseum, I unravel the assumptions and expectations of implementing a Western concept based on notions of community participation, empowerment, and the democratization of heritage in the context of a transforming China.

In my ethnographic account of the multifaceted politics faced by ecomuseums, I question how power and authority are mediated through these civic institutions and how central aspects of museum and heritage practices are being redressed in Chinese society. This study exposes how ecomuseums in China are a result of global processes and positioned as part of a heritage protection movement and museum development boom to promote cultural nationalism, a "civilized" China, and state edicts of rural development in impoverished ethnic minority regions. Detailing the implications of government-led ecomuseum development in ethnic villages in southwest China, and the specific case of Huaili ecomuseum, in Guangxi, I interrogate the institutionalization of heritage and cultural landscapes through processes of exhibition, museumification, and the revaluing of culture. I explore the ecomuseum as a social space of cross-cultural encounter and friction through which local actors grapple with conditions of cultural governance and the entanglements cultural difference and a national heritage discourse. In my critical analysis of collected ethnographic narratives over 15 months of fieldwork from state-directed interest groups, Chinese technocrats, and villager informants involved in the institutionalization of heritage, I present the complex arrangements and interactions that take place through the ecomuseum context and how subject positionalities shift and claims to heritage, identity, and voice are negotiated, regulated, and contested. This study contributes to the anthropology of China and museum and heritage studies, and aims to push new directions in the study of community heritage and museums, in offering a critical perspective of the political nature of ecomuseums in non-Western contexts, such as China.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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The Emotional Well-Being of Low-Wage Migrant Workers in Dubai

Description

This dissertation research examines the impact of migration on the emotional well-being of temporary, low-wage workers who migrate from the Global South to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This dissertation research examines the impact of migration on the emotional well-being of temporary, low-wage workers who migrate from the Global South to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Unlike previous research in the UAE, this study’s sample reflects a far broader diversity of nationalities and occupations, and focuses on those earning in the lowest wage bracket. Their experiences revealed the systemic attributes of precarity and the violent structures that perpetuate them.

My research addresses several substantive debates. I found that rather than emigrating for rational reasons—as neoclassical theory of migration posits—the migrants in my study tended to rationalize their reasons for emigrating through processes of cognitive dissonance. Further, where previous scholarship has tended to conflate issues of national, ethnic, and racial discrimination, I disentangle the processes that motivate discriminatory behavior by showing how seemingly innocuous references to “nationality” can be driven by a desire to hide racial prejudices, while at the same time, conflating all as “racism” can reflect a simplistic analysis of the contributing factors. I show how past historical structures of colonialism and slavery are manifest in current forms of structural violence and how this violence is differentially experienced on the basis of nationality, perceived racial differences, and/or ethnicity. Additionally, my research expands theories related to the spatial dimension of discrimination. It examines how zones of marginalization shape the experiences of low-wage migrant workers as they move through or occupy these spaces. Marginalizing zones limit workers’ access to the sociality of the city and its institutional resources, which consequently increase their vulnerability.

Individual well-being is determined by stressful events that one encounters, by personal and external sources of resilience, and by perceptions of oneself and the stressful events. For the migrants in my study, their stressors were chronic, cumulative, and ambiguous, and while they brought with them a sufficient amount of personal resilience, it was often mitigated by non-compliance and lack of enforcement of UAE laws. The result was a state of well-being defined by isolation, fear, and despair.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Cultural Understandings and Lived Realities of Entrepreneurship in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Description

This dissertation examines cultural understandings and lived realities of entrepreneurship across South Africa’s economic landscape, comparing the experiences of Cape Town’s Black entrepreneurs in under-resourced townships to those of White

This dissertation examines cultural understandings and lived realities of entrepreneurship across South Africa’s economic landscape, comparing the experiences of Cape Town’s Black entrepreneurs in under-resourced townships to those of White entrepreneurs in the wealthy, high finance business district. Based on 13 months of participant observation and interviews with 60 entrepreneurs, I find major differences between these groups of entrepreneurs, which I explain in three independent analyses that together form this dissertation. The first analysis examines the entrepreneurial motivations of Black entrepreneurs in Khayelitsha, Cape Town’s largest township. This analysis gives insight into expressed cultural values of entrepreneurship beyond a priori neoliberal analytical frameworks. The second analysis compares the material resources that Black entrepreneurs in Khayelitsha and White entrepreneurs in downtown Cape Town require for their businesses, and the mechanisms through which they secure these resources. This analysis demonstrates how historical structures of economic inequality affect entrepreneurial strategies. The third analysis assesses the non-material obstacles and challenges that both Black entrepreneurs in Khayelitsha and White entrepreneurs in wealthy areas of downtown Cape Town face in initiating their business ventures. This analysis highlights the importance of cultural capital to entrepreneurship and explains how non-material obstacles differ for entrepreneurs in different positions of societal power. Taken together, my findings contribute to two long-established lines of anthropological scholarship on entrepreneurship: (1) the moral values and understandings of entrepreneurship, and (2) the strategies and practices of entrepreneurship. I demonstrate the need to expand anthropological understandings of entrepreneurship to better theorize diverse economies, localized understandings and values of entrepreneurship, and the relationship of entrepreneurship to notions of economic justice. Yet, through comparative analysis I also demonstrate that diverse and localized values of entrepreneurship must be considered within the context of societal power structures; such context allows scholars to assess if and how diverse entrepreneurial values have the potential to make broad-scale social and/or cultural change. As such, I argue for the importance of putting these two streams of anthropological research into conversation with one another in order to gain a more holistic understanding of the relationship between the cultural meanings and the practices of entrepreneurship.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Aging and identity among Japanese immigrant women

Description

Ascribed elements of one's self-identity such as sex, race, and the place of birth are deeply related to one's national identity among Japanese immigrant women. Spouses, offspring, friends, networks in

Ascribed elements of one's self-identity such as sex, race, and the place of birth are deeply related to one's national identity among Japanese immigrant women. Spouses, offspring, friends, networks in the U.S., or even information about their local area also represent the nation they feel they belong to. The feelings of belonging and comfort are the basis for their achieved sphere of identification with the U.S. This study found that few elderly immigrants would identify only with the host county. Likewise, very few elderly immigrants would identify only with the homeland. Therefore, most of them identify with both countries (transnational), or they identify with neither country (liminal) to an extent. Developing transnational or liminal identity is a result of how Japanese elderly immigrant women have been experiencing mundane events in the host country and how they think the power relations of the sending and receiving countries have changed over the years. Japanese elderly immigrant women with transnational identity expressed their confidence and little anxiety for their aging. Their confidence comes from strong connection with the local community in the host country or/and homeland. Contrarily, those with liminal identity indicated stronger anxiety toward their aging. Their anxiety comes from disassociation from the local community in the U.S. and Japan. With regard to the decisiveness of future plan such as where to live and how to cope with aging, indecisiveness seems to create more options for elderly Japanese immigrant women with the transnational identity, while it exacerbates the anxiety among those who have liminal identity.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Diet as a double-edged sword: the pharmacological properties of food among the Waorani hunter-gatherers of Amazonian Ecuador

Description

Food system and health characteristics were evaluated across the last Waorani hunter-gatherer group in Amazonian Ecuador and a remote neighboring Kichwa indigenous subsistence agriculture community. Hunter-gatherer food systems like the

Food system and health characteristics were evaluated across the last Waorani hunter-gatherer group in Amazonian Ecuador and a remote neighboring Kichwa indigenous subsistence agriculture community. Hunter-gatherer food systems like the Waorani foragers may not only be nutritionally, but also pharmaceutically beneficial because of high dietary intake of varied plant phytochemical compounds. A modern diet that reduces these dietary plant defense phytochemicals below levels typical in human evolutionary history may leave humans vulnerable to diseases that were controlled through a foraging diet. Few studies consider the health impact of the recent drastic reduction of plant phytochemical content in the modern global food system, which has eliminated essential components of food because they are not considered "nutrients". The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory nature of the food system may not only regulate infectious pathogens and inflammatory disease, but also support beneficial microbes in human hosts, reducing vulnerability to chronic diseases. Waorani foragers seem immune to certain infections with very low rates of chronic disease. Does returning to certain characteristics of a foraging food system begin to restore the human body microbe balance and inflammatory response to evolutionary norms, and if so, what implication does this have for the treatment of disease? Several years of data on dietary and health differences across the foragers and the farmers was gathered. There were major differences in health outcomes across the board. In the Waorani forager group there were no signs of infection in serious wounds such as 3rd degree burns and spear wounds. The foragers had one-degree lower body temperature than the farmers. The Waorani had an absence of signs of chronic diseases including vision and blood pressure that did not change markedly with age while Kichwa farmers suffered from both chronic diseases and physiological indicators of aging. In the Waorani forager population, there was an absence of many common regional infectious diseases, from helminthes to staphylococcus. Study design helped control for confounders (exercise, environment, genetic factors, non-phytochemical dietary intake). This study provides evidence of the major role total phytochemical dietary intake plays in human health, often not considered by policymakers and nutritional and agricultural scientists.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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A Worldview MAP Approach to Intercultural Competence in a Multinational Organization in Europe and Japan

Description

The field of intercultural communication emerged from demonstrated need in the public sector and has roots in cultural anthropology. There is continued need in academic and practitioner domains for improved

The field of intercultural communication emerged from demonstrated need in the public sector and has roots in cultural anthropology. There is continued need in academic and practitioner domains for improved ways to effectively engage across cultures. To do so, it is necessary to develop approaches that enable a person to take the emic perspective of an intercultural Other. Worldview is a promising concept in several fields, such as anthropology and cross-cultural psychology, but remains undeveloped in the field of intercultural competence. In addition, existing conceptualizations and approaches to identify worldviews are too comprehensive or ambiguous to be useful. The purpose of this project was to propose a novel worldview framework synthesizing existing literature. The resulting construct is constituted by the composite universals, morality, agency, and positionality (MAP). Worldview MAP was applied to intercultural interactions between members of two distinct sociocultural groups working together on a two-week global management project in a multinational organization in Japan. Three research questions focused on identifying intercultural difficulties, worldview assumptions of each party, and relationships between the difficulties and worldviews. Inter-rater reliability was calculated for three morality subdimensions most underdeveloped in the literature. Findings include worldview descriptions for both culture groups across MAP and ways in which worldviews are interconnected with and illuminate three complex intercultural difficulties. Further, five meta-level worldview findings show how implicit worldviews were indirectly revealed in narrative data. Limitations of the study and implications for future work are discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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A doctor in the house: balancing work and care in the life of women doctors in Pakistan

Description

Under-representation of women doctors in medical work force despite their overwhelming majority in medical schools is an intriguing social issue for Pakistan raising important questions related to evolving gender relations

Under-representation of women doctors in medical work force despite their overwhelming majority in medical schools is an intriguing social issue for Pakistan raising important questions related to evolving gender relations in Pakistani society. Previous research on the broader issue of under-representation of women in science has focused primarily on the structural barriers to women’s advancement. It does not account for the underlying subtle (and changing) gendered power relations that permeate everyday life and which can constrain (or enable) the choices of women. It also does not address how women are not simply constructed as subjects within intersecting power relations, but actively construct meaning in relation to them. It raises interesting questions about the cultural shaping of subjectivities, identities and agency of women within the web of power relations in a society such as Pakistan.

To analyze the underlying dynamics of this issue, this dissertation empirically examines the individual, institutional and social factors which enable or affect the career choices of Pakistani women doctors. Based on the ethnographic data obtained from in-depth, person centered, open ended interviews with sixty women doctors and their families, as well as policy makers and the stake holders in medical education and health administration in Lahore, Pakistan this dissertation seeks to address the complex issues of empowerment and agency in the context of Pakistani women, both in individual and collective sense.

Participation in medical education is ostensibly an empowering act, but dissecting the social relations in which this decision takes place reveals that becoming a doctor actually enmeshes women further in the disciplinary relations within their families and society. Similarly, the medical workplaces of Pakistan are marked by entrenched gendered hierarchies constraining women’s access to resources and their progression through medical career. Finally, the political implications of defining work in medicine, and devaluing care in capitalist economies is explored.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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The emotional well-being of low-wage migrant workers in Dubai

Description

This dissertation research examines the impact of migration on the emotional well-being of temporary, low-wage workers who migrate from the Global South to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This dissertation research examines the impact of migration on the emotional well-being of temporary, low-wage workers who migrate from the Global South to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Unlike previous research in the UAE, this study’s sample reflects a far broader diversity of nationalities and occupations, and focuses on those earning in the lowest wage bracket. Their experiences revealed the systemic attributes of precarity and the violent structures that perpetuate them.

My research addresses several substantive debates. I found that rather than emigrating for rational reasons—as neoclassical theory of migration posits—the migrants in my study tended to rationalize their reasons for emigrating through processes of cognitive dissonance. Further, where previous scholarship has tended to conflate issues of national, ethnic, and racial discrimination, I disentangle the processes that motivate discriminatory behavior by showing how seemingly innocuous references to “nationality” can be driven by a desire to hide racial prejudices, while at the same time, conflating all as “racism” can reflect a simplistic analysis of the contributing factors. I show how past historical structures of colonialism and slavery are manifest in current forms of structural violence and how this violence is differentially experienced on the basis of nationality, perceived racial differences, and/or ethnicity. Additionally, my research expands theories related to the spatial dimension of discrimination. It examines how zones of marginalization shape the experiences of low-wage migrant workers as they move through or occupy these spaces. Marginalizing zones limit workers’ access to the sociality of the city and its institutional resources, which consequently increase their vulnerability.

Individual well-being is determined by stressful events that one encounters, by personal and external sources of resilience, and by perceptions of oneself and the stressful events. For the migrants in my study, their stressors were chronic, cumulative, and ambiguous, and while they brought with them a sufficient amount of personal resilience, it was often mitigated by non-compliance and lack of enforcement of UAE laws. The result was a state of well-being defined by isolation, fear, and despair.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Embattled identities: constructions of contemporary American masculinity amongst mixed martial arts cagefighters

Description

Masculinity has been increasingly recognized as a critical and relatively unexplored area of inquiry in anthropological gender studies. This project seeks to expand anthropological research on masculinity to contemporary American

Masculinity has been increasingly recognized as a critical and relatively unexplored area of inquiry in anthropological gender studies. This project seeks to expand anthropological research on masculinity to contemporary American society. Using the case study of a male-centered popular new sport, Mixed Martial Arts (also known as cagefighting) this project integrates theories of embodiment and feminist perspectives to explore how masculinity and masculine hegemony are shaped, contested, and perpetuated in the United States. Using a multi-level framework this project explores: 1) How is masculinity experienced and expressed by Mixed Martial Arts fighters as a form of self-identity? How do their bodies play a role in constructing masculinity? 2) What are the pervasive forms of masculinity associated with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)? Are they truly representative of the sport? 3) Can these pervasive forms of masculinity be seen as hegemonic? How would hegemony operate in relation to individual experience? Using multiple methods to capture multiple points of view was critical to thoroughly examining the complex notion of masculinity. This study employed participant observation, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, surveys, photo elicitation, and media content analysis, as each presented particular benefits and allowed for the development a more well-rounded understanding of masculinity within the realm of MMA. This study also situates the rise of MMA and its representations of masculinity within the greater perspective of contemporary American society. By doing so reveals how ideologies of prescribed masculinity do not arise out of a vacuum but in relation to particular economic, social and political contexts. An emphasis of this study was to examine the daily lives of MMA fighters to understand how their participation in what may be regarded as a hypermasculine activity affects their own perceptions of masculinity. In looking at how masculinity is embodied, the gaps and often contradictions between representation and individual experiences are revealed. Ultimately, the goal of this research is to contribute to a better understanding of masculinity as both an embodied and relational construct.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Generation next: young Muslim Americans narrating self while debating faith, community, and country

Description

"Culture talk" figures prominently in the discussions of and about Muslims, both locally and globally. Culture, in these discussions, is considered to be the underlying cause of gender and generational

"Culture talk" figures prominently in the discussions of and about Muslims, both locally and globally. Culture, in these discussions, is considered to be the underlying cause of gender and generational divides giving rise to an alleged "identity crisis." Culture also presumably conceals and contaminates "pure/true Islam." Culture serves as the scaffold on which all that divides Muslim American immigrants and converts is built; furthermore, the fear of a Muslim cultural takeover underpins the "Islamization of America" narrative. This dissertation engages these generational and "immigrant"-"indigenous" fissures and the current narratives that dominate Muslim and public spheres. It does so through the perspectives of the offspring of converts and immigrants. As the children and grandchildren of immigrants and converts come of age, and distant as they are from historical processes and experiences that shaped the parents' generations while having shared a socialization process as both Muslim and American, what role do they play in the current chapter of Islam in post-9/11 America? Will the younger generation be able to cross the divides, mend the fissures, and play a pivotal role in an "American Muslim community"? Examining how younger generations of both backgrounds view each other and their respective roles in forging an American Muslim belonging, agenda and discourse is a timely and much needed inquiry. This project aims to contribute by shedding more light on the identities, perspectives and roles of these younger generations through the four dominant narratives of identity crisis, pure/true Islam vs. Cultural Islam, the Islamization of America, and creation of an American Muslim community/identity/culture. These narratives are both part of public discourse and themes generated from interviews, a questionnaire\survey, and personal observation. This ethnographic study examines how American born and/or raised offspring of both converts to Islam and immigrant Muslims in the Phoenix and Chicago metropolitan areas define self and community, how they negotiate fissures and fault lines (ethnicity, race, class, gender, and religious interpretation) within their communities, and how their faith informs daily life and envisions a future. I utilize participant observation, interviews, and surveys and examine digital, visual and published media to answer these questions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013