Jenny Huberman provides an ethnographic study of encounters between western tourists and the children who work as unlicensed peddlers and guides along the riverfront city of Banaras, India. She examines how and why these children elicit such powerful reactions from western tourists and locals in their community as well as how the children themselves experience their work and render it meaningful.
Ambivalent Encounters brings together scholarship on the anthropology of childhood, tourism, consumption, and exchange to ask why children emerge as objects of the international tourist gaze; what role they play in representing socio-economic change; how children are valued and devalued; why they elicit anxieties, fantasies, and debates; and what these tourist encounters teach us more generally about the nature of human interaction. It examines the role of gender in mediating experiences of social change—girls are praised by locals for participating constructively in the informal tourist economy while boys are accused of deviant behavior. Huberman is interested equally in the children’s and adults’ perspectives; her own experiences as a western visitor and researcher provide an intriguing entry into her interpretations.
One individual’s contribution to a large collective project—such as voting in a national election or contributing to a public television fund-raising campaign—often seems negligible. A striking proposition of contemporary economics and political science is that it would be an exercise of reason, not a failure of it, not to contribute to a collective project if the contribution is negligible, but to benefit from it nonetheless.
But Richard Tuck wonders whether this phenomenon of free riding is a timeless aspect of human nature or a recent, historically contingent one. He argues for the latter, showing that the notion would have seemed strange to people in the nineteenth century and earlier and that the concept only became accepted when the idea of perfect competition took hold in economics in the early twentieth century.
Tuck makes careful distinctions between the prisoner’s dilemma problem, threshold phenomena such as voting, and free riding. He analyzes the notion of negligibility, and shows some of the logical difficulties in the idea—and how the ancient paradox of the sorites illustrates the difficulties.
Tuck presents a bold challenge to the skeptical account of social cooperation so widely held today. If accepted, his argument may over time encourage more public-spirited behavior.
Getting other people to do what we want is a useful skill for anyone. Whether you’re seeking a job, negotiating a deal, or angling for that big promotion, you’re engaged in strategic thought and action. In such moments, you imagine what might be going on in another person’s head and how they’ll react to what you do or say. At the same time, you also try to pick the best way to realize your goals, both with and without the other person’s cooperation. Getting Your Way teaches us how to win that game by offering a fuller understanding of how strategy works in the real world.
As we all know, rules of strategy are regularly discovered and discussed in popular books for business executives, military leaders, and politicians. Those works with their trendy lists of pithy maxims and highly effective habits can help people avoid mistakes or even think anew about how to tackle their problems. But they are merely suggestive, as each situation we encounter in the real world is always more complex than anticipated, more challenging than we had hoped. James M. Jasper here shows us how to anticipate those problems before they actually occur—by recognizing the dilemmas all strategic players must negotiate, with each option accompanied by a long list of costs and risks. Considering everyday dilemmas in a broad range of familiar settings, from business and politics to love and war, Jasper explains how to envision your goals, how to make the first move, how to deal with threats, and how to employ strategies with greater confidence.
Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Rosa Parks, Hugo Chávez, and David Koresh all come into play in this smart and engaging book, one that helps us recognize and prepare for the many dilemmas inherent in any strategic action.
Mount Tai in northeastern China has long been a sacred site. Indeed, it epitomizes China’s religious and social diversity. Throughout history, it has been a magnet for both women and men from all classes—emperors, aristocrats, officials, literati, and villagers. For much of the past millennium, however, the vast majority of pilgrims were illiterate peasants who came to pray for their deceased ancestors, as well as for sons, good fortune, and health.
Each of these social groups approached Mount Tai with different expectations. Each group’s or individual’s view of the world, interpersonal relationships, and ultimate goals or dreams—in a word, its identity—was reflected in its interactions with this sacred site. This book examines the behavior of those who made the pilgrimage to Mount Tai and their interpretations of its sacrality and history, as a means of better understanding their identities and mentalities. It is the first to trace the social landscape of Mount Tai, to examine the mindsets not just of prosperous, male literati but also of women and illiterate pilgrims, and to combine evidence from fiction, poetry, travel literature, and official records with the findings of studies of material culture and anthropology.
"Give me the salt" and "Please pass the salt" make the same request, but in a polite situation the first utterance may give offense, while the second may not. How and why such differences in wording and intonation, in a particular context, produce different effects is the concern of pragmatics, the area of linguistics that deals with how speech is used in interaction. In this innovative study of pragmatics in Brazilian Portuguese, Dale Koike analyzes the politeness phenomenon, specifically in the context of speech acts known as "directives."
As acts intended to get someone to do something, directives bring into play a variety of sociocultural factors, depending on the relationship between the participants. Using empirical data obtained through natural language observation and from questionnaires of over one hundred adult native speakers, Koike identifies factors—such as age, education, and gender—that influence the strategies of politeness a given speaker is likely to use in making a directive. This research clarifies the unwritten language rules and assumptions that native speakers intuitively follow in phrasing their directive utterances.
Koike also includes important material on the acquisition of strategies for politeness by children and adult second-language learners, as well as on gender differences in politeness forms. Her research proposes important additions to the theory of speech acts as conceived by Austin and Searle, particularly in the application of deictic organization to account for a hierarchy of pragmatic forms.
Language and Social Relationship in Brazilian Portuguese will be of interest to a wide audience in diverse fields, including linguistics, anthropology, interaction analysis, communications, semantics, sociology, psychology, and education.
Although the literary circle is widely recognized as a significant feature of Renaissance literary culture, it has received remarkably little examination. In this collection of essays, the authors attempt to explain literary circles and cultural communities in Renaissance England by exploring both actual and imaginary ways in which they were conceived and the various needs they fulfilled. The book also pays considerable attention to larger theoretical issues relating to literary circles.
The essayists raise important questions about the extent to which literary circles were actual constructs or fictional creations. Whether illuminating or limiting, the circle metaphor itself can be extended or reformulated. Some of the authors discuss how particular circles actually operated, and some question the very concept of the literary circle. Literary Circles and Cultural Communities in Renaissance England will be an important addition to seventeenth-century studies.
This book develops an original theory of group and organizational behavior that cuts across disciplinary lines and illustrates the theory with empirical and historical studies of particular organizations. Applying economic analysis to the subjects of the political scientist, sociologist, and economist, Mancur Olson examines the extent to which the individuals that share a common interest find it in their individual interest to bear the costs of the organizational effort.
The theory shows that most organizations produce what the economist calls “public goods”—goods or services that are available to every member, whether or not he has borne any of the costs of providing them. Economists have long understood that defense, law, and order were public goods that could not be marketed to individuals, and that taxation was necessary. They have not, however, taken account of the fact that private as well as governmental organizations produce public goods.
The services the labor union provides for the worker it represents, or the benefits a lobby obtains for the group it represents, are public goods: they automatically go to every individual in the group, whether or not he helped bear the costs. It follows that, just as governments require compulsory taxation, many large private organizations require special (and sometimes coercive) devices to obtain the resources they need. This is not true of smaller organizations for, as this book shows, small and large organizations support themselves in entirely different ways. The theory indicates that, though small groups can act to further their interest much more easily than large ones, they will tend to devote too few resources to the satisfaction of their common interests, and that there is a surprising tendency for the “lesser” members of the small group to exploit the “greater” members by making them bear a disproportionate share of the burden of any group action.
All of the theory in the book is in Chapter 1; the remaining chapters contain empirical and historical evidence of the theory’s relevance to labor unions, pressure groups, corporations, and Marxian class action.
The Performer-Audience Connection is a pioneering foray into one of the major puzzles of human communication: the communication of emotion in dance. It is the first attempt of its kind systematically to investigate what performers wish to convey and what audiences perceive in the performance of dance.
The centerpiece of this provocative book is an examination of performer intentions and audience response at eight dance performances in Washington, D.C. Part of the Smithsonian Institution Division of Performing Arts Dance Series, these concerts featured a variety of dance genres and cultures: American tap dance, Kathakali dance-drama from Kerala, India, Japanese Kabuki, contemporary avant-garde dance, Philippine folk dance, the Indian classical tradition of Kuchipudi, and modern dance to an AfroAmerican spiritual.
How did dancer and audience interact at the emotional level on these eight occasions? What affected performer-audience rapport? Through interviews of both spectators and dancers, Judith Lynne Hanna explores the performers' ways of imparting emotion through movement and audience members' expectations and responses. In doing so she casts new light on important issues of cultural identity, sex role, historic attitudes toward dance, and even marketing the arts today.
A landmark work not only for performers who wish to reach their audiences more effectively but also for choreographers, anthropologists, specialists in nonverbal communication, behavioral scientists, educators, and all who are fascinated by the arts and the special magic of the "performer-audience connection."
Every May, for more than a decade, an ever-increasing number of motorcyclists have made the “Run for the Wall,” a cross-country journey from Southern California to the “Wall,” the Vietnam war memorial in Washington, D.C. While the journey’s avowed purpose is political — to increase public awareness about those who remain either prisoners of war or missing in action in Southeast Asia — it also serves as a healing pilgrimage for its participants and as a “welcome-home” ritual many veterans feel they never received.
Run for the Wall is a highly readable ethnographic account of this remarkable American ritual. The authors, themselves motorcyclists as well as Run participants, demonstrate that the event is a form of secular pilgrimage. Here key concepts in American culture— “freedom,” and “brotherhood,” for example—are constructed and deployed in a variety of rituals and symbols to enable participants to come to terms with the consequences of the Vietnam war. While the focus is the journey itself, the book also explores other themes related to American culture and history, including the nature of community, the Vietnam war, and the creation of American secular ritual.
In moving, first-hand accounts, the book tells how participation in the POW-MIA social movement helps individuals find personal and collective meaning in America’s longest and most divisive conflict. Above all, this is a story of a uniquely American form of political action, ritual, pilgrimage, and the social construction of memory.
Economists assume that people make choices based on their preferences and their budget constraints. The preferences and values of others play no role in the standard economic model. This feature has been sharply criticized by other social scientists, who believe that the choices people make are also conditioned by social and cultural forces. Economists, meanwhile, are not satisfied with standard sociological and anthropological concepts and explanations because they are not embedded in a testable, analytic framework.
In this book, Gary Becker and Kevin Murphy provide such a framework by including the social environment along with standard goods and services in their utility functions. These extended utility functions provide a way of analyzing how changes in the social environment affect people’s choices and behaviors. More important, they also provide a way of analyzing how the social environment itself is determined by the interactions of individuals.
Using this approach, the authors are able to explain many puzzling phenomena, including patterns of drug use, how love affects marriage patterns, neighborhood segregation, the prices of fine art and other collectibles, the social side of trademarks, the rise and fall of fads and fashions, and the distribution of income and status.
This book assesses Woodland Period interactions using technofunctional, mineralogical, and chemical data derived from Swift Creek Complicated Stamped sherds whose provenience is fully documented from both mortuary mounds and village middens along the Atlantic coast. Together, these data demonstrate formal and functional differences between mortuary and village assemblages along with the nearly exclusive occurrence of foreign-made cooking pots in mortuary contexts. The Swift Creek Gift provides insight into the unique workings of gift exchanges to transform seemingly mundane materials like cooking pots into powerful tools of commemoration, affiliation, and ownership.
Exploring and conceptualizing practices, technologies, and politics of disconnecting
How do we think beyond the dominant images and imaginaries of connectivity? Undoing Networks enables a different connectivity: “digital detox” is a luxury for stressed urbanites wishing to lead a mindful life. Self-help books advocate “digital minimalism” to recover authentic experiences of the offline. Artists envision a world without the internet. Activists mobilize against the expansion of the 5G network.
If connectivity brought us virtual communities, information superhighways, and participatory culture, disconnection comes with privacy tools, Faraday shields, and figures of the shy. This book explores nonusage and the “right to disconnect” from work and from the excessive demands of digital capitalism.
In this thought-provoking work, Tony D. Sampson presents a contagion theory fit for the age of networks. Unlike memes and microbial contagions, Virality does not restrict itself to biological analogies and medical metaphors. It instead points toward a theory of contagious assemblages, events, and affects. For Sampson, contagion is not necessarily a positive or negative force of encounter; it is how society comes together and relates.
Sampson argues that a biological knowledge of contagion has been universally distributed by way of the rhetoric of fear used in the antivirus industry and other popular discourses surrounding network culture. This awareness is also detectable in concerns over too much connectivity, such as problems of global financial crisis and terrorism. Sampson’s “virality” is as established as that of the biological meme and microbe but is not understood through representational thinking expressed in metaphors and analogies. Rather, Sampson interprets contagion theory through the social relationalities first established in Gabriel Tarde’s microsociology and subsequently recognized in Gilles Deleuze’s ontological worldview.
According to Sampson, the reliance on representational thinking to explain the social behavior of networking—including that engaged in by nonhumans such as computers—allows language to overcategorize and limit analysis by imposing identities, oppositions, and resemblances on contagious phenomena. It is the power of these categories that impinges on social and cultural domains. Assemblage theory, on the other hand, is all about relationality and encounter, helping us to understand the viral as a positively sociological event, building from the molecular outward, long before it becomes biological.
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