Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Humanities and Social Sciences

Kinds of Fieldwork

  • conducting fieldwork
  • ethnographic fieldwork
  • recent fieldwork

  • Terms modified by Fieldwork

  • fieldwork experience
  • fieldwork placement

  • Selected Abstracts


    GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW, Issue 1-2 2001
    Article first published online: 21 APR 2010, CATHY WHITLOCK
    First page of article [source]


    GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW, Issue 1-2 2001
    First page of article [source]

    Front and Back Covers, Volume 25, Number 5.

    ANTHROPOLOGY TODAY, Issue 5 2009
    October 200
    Front and back cover caption, volume 25 issue 5 FIELDWORK AND TECHNOLOGY The images on the front and back covers illustrate two of several reflections in this issue on the impacts of technology on the world studied by anthropologists. On the front cover, an internet cafe is one of the first sights to greet visitors to Dhunche, once a ,remote' area in northern Nepal. On the back cover, a youth tries out a telescope during the commemoration of the confirmation of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity at Roça Sundy, Príncipe, where Arthur Eddington observed a total solar eclipse. In his editorial, Bob Simpson remarks on how much the craft of fieldwork has changed as a result of the widespread on-site availability of communications technology, placing even the remotest sites within reach of home or employer. In this post-Malinowskian fieldwork, where the distinction between back here and out there has disappeared, what are the implications of this for our craft and for the quality of our obversations? Gisa Weszkalnys reflects on her fieldwork site of Príncipe as the location of one of the most important events in 20th-century science, the confirmation of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. She overlays the 2009 commemoration of this event, with international institutions promoting scientific knowledge and tourism, with another, colonial history of Príncipe as the focus of a controversy around the alleged use of slave labour in its cocoa plantations. As Kristín Loftsdóttir argues in her article, science and technology are among a range of markers used to determine who is most in need of international development, thus contributing to what she calls the ,racialization of development'. Akbar Ahmed alerts us to the fear in Washington, DC and Islamabad that the Taliban, who have recently taken over his field site in Swat Province, could potentially destabilize world order by appropriating nuclear technology. There are evidently many ways in which science and technology can and do affect our field sites. One of the greatest challenges for anthropology will be to experiment creatively and innovate with appropriate technologies in partnership. In this way we can generate more egalitarian conversations in an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust and tolerance. Whatever fieldwork becomes, it must be founded on such engagement with the broadest of publics, while making the most of these new technologies. [source]

    Community Resilience and Volcano Hazard: The Eruption of Tungurahua and Evacuation of the Faldas in Ecuador

    DISASTERS, Issue 1 2002
    Graham A. Tobin
    Official response to explosive volcano hazards usually involves evacuation of local inhabitants to safe shelters. Enforcement is often difficult and problems can be exacerbated when major eruptions do not ensue. Families are deprived of livelihoods and pressure to return to hazardous areas builds. Concomitantly, prevailing socioeconomic and political conditions limit activities and can influence vulnerability. This paper addresses these issues, examining an ongoing volcano hazard (Tungurahua) in Ecuador where contextual realities significantly constrain responses. Fieldwork involved interviewing government officials, selecting focus groups and conducting surveys of evacuees in four locations: a temporary shelter, a permanent resettlement, with returnees and with a control group. Differences in perceptions of risk and health conditions, and in the potential for economic recovery were found among groups with different evacuation experiences. The long-term goal is to develop a model of community resilience in long-term stress environments. [source]

    Field-based and spectral indicators for soil erosion mapping in semi-arid mediterranean environments (Coastal Cordillera of central Chile)

    Renaud Mathieu
    Abstract The Coastal Cordillera of central Chile is naturally sensitive to soil erosion due to moderate to steep slopes, intense winter rains when the vegetation cover is scarce, and deeply weathered granitic rocks. In 1965, 60 per cent of its surface was moderately to very severely eroded. Today this process is still largely active, but no data are currently available to evaluate the real extent, distribution and severity of soil degradation on a regional scale. This information is vital to support efficient soil conservation plans. A multi-scale approach was implemented to produce regional land degradation maps based on remote sensing technologies. Fieldwork has shown that the surface colour or ,redness' and the density of coarse fragments are pertinent erosion indicators to describe a typical sequence of soil degradation in the context of mediterranean soil developed on granitic materials and micaschists. Field radiometric experiments concluded that both factors influence the reflectance of natural surfaces and can be modelled using radiometric indices accessible from most satellites operating in the optical domain, i.e. redness index and brightness index. Finally the radiometric indices were successfully applied to SPOT images to produce land degradation maps. Only broad classes of erosion status were discriminated and the detection of the degradation processes was only possible when most of the fertile layer had already been removed. This technology provides decision-making information required to develop regional soil conservation plans and to prioritize actions between catchment areas, especially in vast inter-tropical regions where spatialized data are not always readily available. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Alcohol in Mayan Guatemala: consumption, distribution, production and composition of cuxa

    ADDICTION, Issue 5 2009
    Fotis Kanteres
    ABSTRACT Aims To describe the consumption, distribution, production and chemical composition of alcohol, including cuxa (pronounced ,coo sha'), in Nahualá, a highland Mayan municipality in Guatemala. Cuxa is a sugarcane-derived spirit, in part produced clandestinely, that has been distributed in the community for several decades. Methods Key informant interviews with alcohol distributors and consumers, cuxa producers and health professionals, as well as analyses of questionnaires from a sample of 47 spouses who came to the local health centre for problems related to their husband's drinking. Sampling and chemical analysis of cuxa from 12 of 13 identified sales points in the head-town of Nahualá and its nearby settlements (10 km radius). Fieldwork was conducted between November 2007 and March 2008. Results Alcohol consumption was found to be integrated culturally in this community. The overall drinking culture was marked by irregular heavy drinking occasions, especially around market days, with substantial inebriation and health problems, especially among street inhabiting drinkers. Cuxa contributed to these problems, and cuxa drinking was socially stigmatized. Cuxa was produced both clandestinely and industrially, and sold legally by taverns and illegally by clandestine distributors. The alcoholic strength of the samples was typically between 17 and 19% vol.; clandestinely produced cuxa samples showed acetaldehyde contamination. Conclusions Measures should be taken to reduce the harm associated with alcohol in this community, including efforts to reduce acetaldehyde levels in cuxa. [source]

    Early Holocene Paleoindian deposits at Nall Playa, Oklahoma Panhandle, U.S.A.

    Jason M. LaBelle
    Fieldwork conducted at the Nall North locale and the adjacent playa documents buried Paleoindian deposits and a stratigraphic sequence dating back to the late Pleistocene. Cultural debris recovered from the surface of Nall North includes bone, tools, and lithic flake debris. Two buried paleosols at the locale date to the early Holocene and hold high potential for Paleoindian materials. The Baker paleosol, a stabilized surface above the shoreline of the adjacent playa lake, dated between ca. 6870 and 7740 yr B.P., contains a rich cultural component of tools, flakes, and bone, and represents a potential surface for Angostura and Allen/Frederick artifacts. Located below the Baker soil is the Nall soil (dated to ca. 9650 yr B.P.) that probably represents a marsh facies of the playa fill. The Nall soil represents a potential surface for Plainview/Goshen-age artifacts, although excavations thus far have recovered no cultural debris. In the playa adjacent to the Nall North locality, a sequence dating between ca. 12,960 and 5310 yr B.P. documents localized spring flow into the playa during the late Pleistocene, followed by several thousand years of playa muds during the early Holocene, and the eventual drying of the playa in the middle Holocene. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

    Structural patterns in coarse gravelriver beds: typology, survey and assessment of the roles of grain size and river regime

    Lea Wittenberg
    The concept of river-bed stability as indexed by the occurrence of stable bed forms was examined in humid-temperate perennial streams and in Mediterranean ephemeral streams. The study examined the structural patterns of bed forms and their spatial distribution between temperate-humid and Mediterranean streams. Study sites in Northumberland, UK, and Mt. Carmel, Israel, were selected for their morphometric similarity, despite the contrast in climate, vegetation and hydrological regime. Fieldwork was based on a large number of Wolman grain size distributions and structure measurements along cross-sections at seven sites; Differences in mean grain size of bed structures were estimated using the general linear model (GLM) procedure and Duncan's multiple range test. Based on field evidence, river-bed configurations were divided into structural categories, according to the depositional setting of each measured particle on the river bed. Statistical analysis confirmed former qualitative descriptions of small-scale bed forms. The study identified spatial segregation in bed form distribution. In general, 30,40%of the bed material in the surveyed perennial streams was clustered, in contrast to approximately 10%in the ephemeral counterparts. The sorting index revealed higher values for the perennial streams, namely 2.39,3.59 compared with 1.73,2.07 for the ephemeral counterparts. It is suggested that the degree of sediment sorting and the proportion of clusters are strongly related. Sediment sorting, sediment supply and the hydrological regime explain the mechanism of cluster formation. It is assumed that climate shifts or human interference within river basins might affect the regional characteristic flood hydrograph, and consequently alter the sedimentary character of the river bed. In the case where river bed stability is reduced owing to changes in cluster bed form distribution, rivers that normally do not yield a significant amount of sediment might be subject to notable sedimentation problems. [source]


    ABSTRACT. Recent attempts by U.S. politicians to reform the nation'sschools have shifted the goal of education to school accountability as assessed in standardized testing. Such an emphasis undermines geographical education in schools because of geography'ssuperficial representation in tests and in the social studies curriculum. Fieldwork done in the classroom can point to means of circumventing this dilemma. Collaborative fieldwork between college faculty members and public-school teachers has the potential for adding geography to the social studies curriculum in a substantive way. Work conducted jointly by Hartwick College and the Oneonta (New York) Middle School exemplifies such a partnership. [source]

    Investigating human evolutionary history

    JOURNAL OF ANATOMY, Issue 1 2000
    We rely on fossils for the interpretation of more than 95% of our evolutionary history. Fieldwork resulting in the recovery of fresh fossil evidence is an important component of reconstructing human evolutionary history, but advances can also be made by extracting additional evidence for the existing fossil record, and by improving the methods used to interpret the fossil evidence. This review shows how information from imaging and dental microstructure has contributed to improving our understanding of the hominin fossil record. It also surveys recent advances in the use of the fossil record for phylogenetic inference. [source]

    Empowerment of Nursing as a Socially Significant Profession in Vietnam

    Patricia S. Jones
    Purpose: To describe nursing education and practice in Vietnam, and strategies that support empowerment of nursing as a socially significant profession for that country. Design: The Jones-Meleis health empowerment model was used as a framework to examine barriers and identify strategies that support empowerment. Methods: Fieldwork, interviews, and participation-observation in collaborative partnerships with the Ministry of Health, the national nurses association, and schools of nursing in Vietnam. Findings: Nurses in Vietnam are eagerly poised to make significant and essential contributions to the well-being of society. Conclusions: Baccalaureate and master's degree nursing curricula taught by nurses are necessary for professionalization of nursing practice in Vietnam. [source]

    Improvising Theory: Process and Temporality in Ethnographic Fieldwork by Allaine Cerwonka and Liisa Malkki

    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    "The Other" and "The Enemy": Reflections on Fieldwork in Utah

    Julie Brugger
    This paper is a reflection on doing anthropology in the United States, based on my research of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, a "protected area" in southern Utah. My research focuses on the meaning and practice of democracy in the United States by examining the impact of conservation policies on rural resource users. I question why social scientists who study conservation are able to see injustices in the protected area model when applied in "the Global South," but have not aimed critique at similar processes occurring in the U.S. Reflecting on the post fieldwork experiences of scholars Susan Harding, Faye Ginsburg, and James McCarthy, I suggest that, for American anthropologists, some "repugnant others" in the U.S. represent a threatening "enemy," while in other settings, they may not be perceived in this way. I conclude by suggesting we "write democratically" in order to overcome this limitation and realize the transformative potential of ethnography. [source]

    Fieldwork education: the future of occupational therapy depends on it

    Frances Aiken Professional Leader for Occupational Therapy
    Abstract Fieldwork continues to be the cornerstone of preparation for entry-level occupational therapy clinicians. During the past five years the Canadian healthcare system has experienced decreases in federal funding, organizational changes such as the movement to programme management, and increased focus on community-based needs. Two fieldwork projects were tested at a large health sciences facility, to meet the challenge of providing effective fieldwork experiences that build on current educational methodologies while still responding to changing realities in healthcare practice. The academic programme with which the health sciences facility is affiliated has developed a strong focus on self-directed learning, using problem-based and small group learning formats. The development, implementation and evaluation of the two fieldwork projects is described. Discussion focuses on the processes needed to facilitate innovative, flexible fieldwork models. Copyright © 2001 Whurr Publishers Ltd. [source]

    The effects of cattle grazing on plant-pollinator communities in a fragmented Mediterranean landscape

    OIKOS, Issue 3 2006
    Betsy Vulliamy
    The main aims of this study were to assess grazing impacts on bee communities in fragmented mediterranean shrubland (phrygana) and woodland habitats that also experience frequent wildfires, and to explain the mechanisms by which these impacts occur. Fieldwork was carried out in 1999 and 2000 on Mount Carmel, in northern Israel, a known hot-spot for bee diversity. Habitats with a range of post-burn ages and varying intensities of cattle grazing were surveyed by transect recording, grazing levels, and the diversity and abundance of both flowers and bees were measured. The species richness of both bees and flowers were highest at moderate to high grazing intensities, and path-analysis indicated that the effects of both grazing and fire on bee diversity were mediated mainly through changes in flower diversity, herb flowers being more important than shrubs. The abundance of bees increased with intensified grazing pressure even at the highest levels surveyed. Surprisingly though, changes in bee abundance at high grazing levels were not caused directly by changes in flower cover. The variation in bee abundance may have been due to higher numbers of solitary bees from the family Halictidae in grazed sites, where compacted ground (nesting resource) and composites (forage resource) were abundant. The effects of grazing on plants were clearest in the intermediate-aged sites, where cattle inhibited the growth of some of the dominant shrubs, creating or maintaining more open patches where light-demanding herbs could grow, thus allowing a diverse flora to develop. Overall, bee communities benefit from a relatively high level of grazing in phrygana. Although bee and flower diversity may decrease under very heavy grazing, the present levels of grazing on Mount Carmel appear to have only beneficial effects on the bee community. [source]

    Perspectives on an Early Bronze Age Island Centre: An Analysis of Pottery from Daskaleio-Kavos (Keros) in the Cyclades

    Cyprian Broodbank
    Island central places occupy a prominent position in archaeological, anthropological and historical debate, but the number of early examples of such centres that have to date been investigated in detail remains small. One such central place in the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC) Cycladic islands of the Aegean was the site of Daskaleio-Kavos on Keros, although the interpretation of this site's functions is controversial. Fieldwork at the site in 1987 generated a large sample of pottery that allows the site's local and inter-regional connections to be explored in detail for the first time. The results of ceramic analysis indicate that Daskaleio-Kavos operated as the active maritime centre of an intensive network of inter-island exchange. [source]

    The Kalgoorlie Otitis Media Research Project: rationale, methods, population characteristics and ethical considerations

    Deborah Lehmann
    Summary Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common paediatric illnesses for which medical advice is sought in developed countries. Australian Aboriginal children suffer high rates of OM from early infancy. The resultant hearing loss can affect education and quality of life. As numerous factors contribute to the burden of OM, interventions aimed at reducing the impact of single risk factors are likely to fail. To identify key risk factors and understand how they interact in complex causal pathways, we followed 100 Aboriginal and 180 non-Aboriginal children from birth to age 2 years in a semi-arid zone of Western Australia. We collected demographic, obstetric, socio-economic and environmental data, breast milk once, and nasopharyngeal samples and saliva on seven occasions. Ear health was assessed by clinical examination, tympanometry, transient evoked otoacoustic emissions and audiometry. We considered the conduct of our study in relation to national ethical guidelines for research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. After 1 year of community consultation, the study was endorsed by local committees and ethical approval granted. Fieldwork was tailored to minimise disruption to people's lives and we provided regular feedback to the community. We saw 81% of non-Aboriginal and 65% of Aboriginal children at age 12 months. OM was diagnosed on 55% and 26% of routine clinical examinations in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children respectively. Aboriginal mothers were younger and less educated, fewer were employed and they lived in more crowded conditions than non-Aboriginal mothers. Sixty-four per cent of Aboriginal and 40% of non-Aboriginal babies were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. Early consultation, provision of a service while undertaking research, inclusion of Aboriginal people as active members of a research team and appropriate acknowledgement will assist in ensuring successful completion of the research. [source]

    Inventorying management status and plant species richness in semi-natural grasslands using high spatial resolution imagery

    K. Hall
    Abstract Question: Can we reliably estimate grazing intensity, indicators of grazing intensity (i.e. field-layer height and shrub-cover), and vascular plant species richness in semi-natural grasslands from high spatial resolution satellite data? Location: The Baltic Island of Öland (Sweden). Methods: Fieldwork included the on-site description of grazed and ungrazed areas and shrub-cover within 107 semi-natural grassland sites. Field-layer height and vascular plant species richness (total within-site and mean small-scale species richness) were recorded within the sites. Digital classification of QuickBird data was performed to identify grazed and ungrazed areas and shrub-cover. Vegetation indices were generated to analyze the performance of satellite data for estimating field-layer height, and the spectral heterogeneity was used to characterize the within-site environmental heterogeneity. Results: The proportion of digitally classified grazed area explained 45% of the variation in field-layer height and 43% of the variation in shrub-cover. Field-layer height was significantly related to vegetation indices. A linear model with three explanatory variables (spectral richnessred, spectral richnessNIR, and shrub-cover) explained 47% of the variation in total within-site species richness. Conclusions: High spatial resolution imagery may assist in the monitoring of the processes that follow the cessation of grazing, on the scale of individual grassland sites. Measures of spectral heterogeneity acquired by high spatial resolution imagery can be used in the assessment of total within-site vascular plant species richness in semi-natural grassland vegetation. [source]

    Fieldwork among the Dong national minority in Guizhou, China: Practicalities, obstacles and challenges

    Candice CornetArticle first published online: 28 JUL 2010
    Abstract The People's Republic of China (PRC) is increasingly open to foreigners undertaking social science fieldwork; yet obstacles remain. Working with ethnic minorities adds further complexities because of the sensitive topics such research may raise. Based on recent fieldwork among the Dong in southeast Guizhou, as the first foreign researcher to ask for and gain official permission to work in the region, this article exposes some of the challenges, both practical and methodological, of conducting research in the PRC. Gaining access to my field site was a long trek through the hierarchic maze of Chinese administration. While reflecting upon this process, I detail my negotiations with local authorities. I then examine how I found reliable statistical data, was able to access the voices of peasants, acted to protect the anonymity of dissident informants, and negotiated working with local research assistants once in the field. These aspects, in turn, highlighted the importance of considering positionality in the field. Although each person's experiences and routes to fieldwork are unique, there are recurrent issues that shape the research process in the PRC. I reflect upon a number of these here, in the hope that this can smooth the way for future researchers. [source]

    Research Note: Fieldwork, supervision and trust

    Jean Michaud
    Abstract In this research note I reflect upon my different experiences as a researcher with ethnic minorities in Southeast Asia, from my years as a postgraduate student to my current work as a professor. From being a graduate student, to supervising them, I have learned many lessons about graduate fieldwork. Nowadays, I pass these on to supervisees as best I can. I consider it my professional and personal duty to actively warn, inform and prepare young anthropologists about to leave for their masters' and doctoral field research in China, Vietnam and Laos about the field locations to which they are travelling, the political negotiations that they will need to undertake, and the cultural, economic and political differences they will encounter. I also stress that the anthropology that is played out in the field in socialist settings is not necessarily that which we read about in textbooks. [source]

    The challenge of interdisciplinary collaboration in acute psychiatry: Impacts on the occupational milieu

    Tracy Fortune
    This paper, based on a larger ethnographic exploration of the acute inpatient environment for older people with mental illness, describes and provides interpretations of staff perceptions and actions in order to highlight tensions between professional groups which adversely affect opportunities for patients to engage in meaningful occupations. Fieldwork conducted in 1999,2000, supplemented by 20 in-depth interviews with a range of mental health professionals, provides the foundation for suggesting that the extent and nature of occupational engagement is significantly impacted by interdisciplinary relations. The skill of occupational therapists to collaborate with their nursing colleagues in a socially complex environment, and the importance of personal leadership skills among our new graduates are discussed. [source]

    FATHERS, SONS, AND THE STATE: Discipline and Punishment in a Wolof Hinterland

    ABSTRACT This essay builds on fieldwork in rural Senegal to examine three cases in which elder household heads called on gendarmes to physically discipline rebellious youths. These cases, which revolved around harsh acts of corporal punishment, invite inquiry into common assumptions about African families and states. The first assumption is the common dichotomy drawn between African youths, portrayed as modern and menacing, and African elders, portrayed as "traditional" and hence benign. The second assumption is the dichotomy drawn between the African family, conceived as solidary and nurturing, and the African state, conceived as alien and predatory. In examining these cases of discipline and punishment, this essay reveals the ever-shifting power relations that link Wolof household heads, dependent junior males, and state agents, and simultaneously introduces new questions about the morality of farmer,state relations and generational conflict. My analysis reveals the spatial geography of Senegal's youth crisis, which takes different forms in rural and urban locales. The anxiety of rural patriarchs is fed by a fear-mongering media obsessed with youthful anarchy in the cities, and a long-standing political rhetoric about the threat of rural out-migration. Elder men in the countryside, who experience diminishing household authority under neoliberalism, make proactive efforts to keep the urban youth crisis at bay. They seek to augment their domestic power by reestablishing links with a state that has long bolstered patriarchy but whose power is currently in decline. By lending patriarchs their coercive force, gendarmes attempt to accomplish through private, indirect means, what the postcolonial state is unable to do: maintain social order by reining in disruptive youths. The harsh disciplinary measures that gendarmes employ are not alien to Wolof culture, but integral to Wolof conceptions of child rearing. [source]

    RUNAWAY STORIES: The Underground Micromovements of Filipina Oyomesan in Rural Japan

    ABSTRACT During fieldwork among Filipina migrants married to Japanese men in rural Nagano, stories about Filipina women who had "run away" from Japanese husbands and families in the region regularly surfaced in casual conversations. This essay focuses on both running away and stories about it as interconnected means through which these women negotiated their dissatisfactions with their lives abroad. I suggest that through such practices, these women's dissatisfactions assumed a "runaway agency" that created unsettling and, sometimes, unexpected social effects. First, insofar as running away involved "underground micromovements," it enabled Filipina women to craft spaces in Japan outside the domestic boundaries of both the home and the nation. These "extradomestic spaces" offered at once hopeful and dangerous possibilities for building alternative lives in Japan. Second, as Filipina women who remained in rural Nagano gossiped about those who had run away, they pressured some Filipina wives into staying while encouraging others to leave. Third, running away became an unexpected leveraging tool through which some Filipina women negotiated the conditions of their domestic situations to unpredictable effect. [source]

    GOOD GIFTS FOR THE COMMON GOOD: Blood and Bioethics in the Market of Genetic Research

    This article is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted with the Indian community in Houston, as part of a NIH,NHGRI-sponsored ethics study and sample collection initiative entitled "Indian and Hindu Perspectives on Genetic Variation Research." At the heart of this research is one central exchange,blood samples donated for genetic research,that draws both the Indian community and a community of researchers into an encounter with bioethics. I consider the meanings that come to be associated with blood donation as it passes through various hands, agendas, and associated ethical filters on its way to the lab bench: how and why blood is solicited, how the giving and taking of blood is rationalized, how blood as material substance is alienated, processed, documented, and made available for the promised ends of basic science research. Examining corporeal substances and asking what sorts of gifts and problems these represent, I argue, sheds some light on two imbricated tensions expressed by a community of Indians, on the one hand, and of geneticists and basic science researchers, on the other hand: that gifts ought to be free (but are not), and that science ought to be pure (but is not). In this article, I explore how experiences of bioethics are variously shaped by the histories and habits of Indic giving, prior sample collection controversies, commitments to "good science" and the common "good of humanity," and negotiations of the sites where research findings circulate. [source]

    Geeks, Social Imaginaries, and Recursive Publics

    Christopher Kelty
    This article investigates the social, technical, and legal affiliations among "geeks" (hackers, lawyers, activists, and IT entrepreneurs) on the Internet. The mode of association specific to this group is that of a "recursive public sphere" constituted by a shared imaginary of the technical and legal conditions of possibility for their own association. On the basis of fieldwork conducted in the United States, Europe, and India, I argue that geeks imagine their social existence and relations as much through technical practices (hacking, networking, and code writing) as through discursive argument (rights, identities, and relations). In addition, they consider a "right to tinker" a form of free speech that takes the form of creating, implementing, modifying, or using specific kinds of software (especially Free Software) rather than verbal discourse. [source]

    Situating Global Capitalisms: A View from Wall Street Investment Banks

    Karen Ho
    The project of conceptualizing powerful subjects and intervening against Wall Street investment banks' hegemonic claims is thwarted by social scientific norms of approaching late capitalism and globalization. Overarching scripts of capitalist globalization not only prevent understanding the heterogeneous and complicated particularities of Wall Street's approaches to the global but also ironically parallel the marketing schemes and hyped representations of Wall Street capitalist promoters. Drawing from in-depth fieldwork with investment bankers, this article portrays Wall Street's uses and understandings of the global and the contingencies and contexts of its global imaginings. It demonstrates that even for the most seemingly globalized and powerful of actors, global ambitions can implode and generate internal contradictions. [source]

    The Productive Life of Risk

    Caitlin Zaloom
    Contemporary social theorists usually conceive of risk negatively. Focusing on disasters and hazards, they see risk as an object of calculation and avoidance. But we gain a deeper understanding of risk in modern life if we observe it in another setting. Futures markets are exemplary sites of aggressive risk taking. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork on trading floors, this article shows how a high modern institution creates populations of risk-taking specialists, and explores the ways that engagements with risk actively organize contemporary markets and forge economic actors. Financial exchanges are crucibles of capitalist production. At the Chicago Board of Trade, financial speculators structure their conduct and shape themselves around risk; and games organized around risk influence the social and spatial dynamics of market life. [source]

    Learning from Difference: Considerations for Schools as Communities

    CURRICULUM INQUIRY, Issue 3 2000
    Carolyn M. Shields
    In today's highly complex and heterogeneous public schools, the current notion of schools as homogeneous communities with shared beliefs, norms, and alues is inadequate. Drawing on Barth's (1990) question of how to use ifference as a resource, I take up ideas from feminism, multiculturalism, and inclusive education to consider the development of community in schools. I argue that despite the valuable contributions of these theoretical perspectives, each lso includes the potential for increased fragmentation and polarization. As we consider how to use differences as a foundation for community, it is important ot to reify any particular perspective, thus marginalizing others and erecting new barriers. Explicitly embracing the need to identify and respect difference, being open to new ideas without taking an exclusionary position, and committing to ongoing participation in dialogical processes may help schools to develop as more authentic communities of difference. Among the dominant issues identified in today's climate of turbulent educational reform are concerns about how to restructure schools to ensure equality of student opportunity and excellence of instruction (Elmore, 1990; Lieberman, 1992; Murphy, 1991). Many proposals include modifying present leadership and governance structures, overcoming the hegemony of existing power bases, developing mechanisms for accountability, enhancing professionalism, and co-ordinating community resources. One of the suggestions frequently made to address these issues is to change from a focus on schools as organizations to a recognition of schools as communities (Barth, 1990; Fullan, 1993; Lupart & Webber, 1996; Senge, 1990). However, despite the widespread use of the metaphor of community as an alternative to the generally accepted concept of schools as rational or functional organizations, there seems to be little clarity about the concept of community, what it might look like, how it might be implemented, or what policies might sustain it. Indeed, theories about schools as communities have often drawn from Tönnies (1887/1971) concept of gemeinschaft,a concept which perhaps evokes a more homogeneous and romanticized view of the past than one which could be helpful for improving education in today's dynamic, complex, and heterogeneous context (Beck & Kratzer, 1994; Sergiovanni, 1994a). More recently, several writers (Fine et al., 1997; Furman, 1998; Shields & Seltzer, 1997) have advanced the notion of communities of otherness or difference. These authors have suggested that rather than thinking of schools as communities that exist because of a common affiliation to an established school ethos or tradition, it might be more helpful to explore an alternative concept. A school community founded on difference would be one in which the common centre would not be taken as a given but would be co-constructed from the negotiation of disparate beliefs and values as participants learn to respect, and to listen to, each other. In this concept, bonds among members are not assumed, but forged, and boundaries are not imposed but negotiated. Over the past eight years, as I have visited and worked with a large number of schools trying earnestly to address the needs of their diverse student bodies, I have become increasingly aware of the limitations of the concept of community used in the gemeinschaft sense with its emphasis on shared values, norms, and beliefs, and have begun to reflect on the question framed by Barth (1990): ,How can we make conscious, deliberate use of differences in social class, gender, age, ability, race, and interest as resources for learning?' (p. 514). In this article, I consider how learning from three of these areas of difference: gender, race, and ability, may help us to a better understanding of educational community. This article begins with some illustrations and examples from practice, moves to consider how some theoretical perspectives may illuminate them, and concludes with reflections on how the implications of the combined reflections on practice and theory might actually help to reconceptualize and to improve practice. While it draws heavily on questions and impressions which have arisen out of much of my fieldwork, it is not intended to be an empirical paper, but a conceptual one,one which promotes reflection and discussion on the concept of schools as communities of difference. The examples of life in schools taken from longitudinal research studies in which I have been involved demonstrate several common ways in which difference is dealt with in today's schools and some of the problems inherent in these approaches. Some ideas drawn from alternative perspectives then begin to address Barth's question of how to make deliberate use of diversity as a way of thinking about community. Taken together, I hope that these ideas will be helpful in creating what I have elsewhere called ,schools as communities of difference' (Shields & Seltzer, 1997). [source]

    Child Labour in African Artisanal Mining Communities: Experiences from Northern Ghana

    Gavin Hilson
    ABSTRACT The issue of child labour in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) economy is attracting significant attention worldwide. This article critically examines this ,problem' in the context of sub-Saharan Africa, where a lack of formal sector employment opportunities and/or the need to provide financial support to their impoverished families has led tens of thousands of children to take up work in this industry. The article begins by engaging with the main debates on child labour in an attempt to explain why young boys and girls elect to pursue arduous work in ASM camps across the region. The remainder of the article uses the Ghana experience to further articulate the challenges associated with eradicating child labour at ASM camps, drawing upon recent fieldwork undertaken in Talensi-Nabdam District, Upper East Region. Overall, the issue of child labour in African ASM communities has been diagnosed far too superficially, and until donor agencies and host governments fully come to grips with the underlying causes of the poverty responsible for its existence, it will continue to burgeon. [source]

    Resource Accessibility and Vulnerability in Andhra Pradesh: Caste and Non-Caste Influences

    Lee Bosher
    ABSTRACT Coastal Andhra Pradesh in southern India is prone to tropical cyclones. Access to key resources can reduce the vulnerability of the local population to both large-scale disasters, such as cyclones, and to the sort of small-scale crises that affect their everyday lives. This article uses primary fieldwork to present a resource accessibility vulnerability index for over 300 respondents. The index indicates that caste is the key factor in determining who has assets, who can access public facilities, who has political connections and who has supportive social networks. The ,lower' castes (which tend to be the poorest) are marginalized to the extent that they lack access to assets, public facilities and opportunities to improve their plight. However, the research also indicates that the poor and powerless lower castes are able to utilize informal social networks to bolster their resilience, typically by women's participation with CBOs and NGOs. Nevertheless it is doubtful whether this extra social capital counterbalances the overall results which show that , despite decades of counteractions by government , caste remains a dominant variable affecting the vulnerability of the people of coastal Andhra Pradesh to the hazards that they face. [source]