Abelmann, Dr. Nancy, U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL; and Dr. Hae-Joang Cho, Yonsei U., Seoul, South Korea - To aid collaborative research on 'The Anxious South Korean Student: Globalization, Human Capital, and Class'
Kleyna, Mark A., Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Spectacles of the Modern: Technology, Development, and the Imagination of the Indian Nation, 1947-1965,' supervised by Dr. Nicholas B. Dirks
Widger, Thomas, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'The Youth Suicide Epidemic in Sri Lanka: Causes, Meanings, Prevention Strategies,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Parry
THOMAS WIDGER, then a student at London School of Economics, London, England, was awarded a grant in January 2005 to aid research on 'The Youth Suicide Epidemic in Sri Lanka: Causes, Meanings, Prevention Strategies,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Parry. Suicide in Sri Lanka has been a major health and social problem for the past four decades. The research project examined the social and psychological causes, cultural meanings, and formal and informal preventions strategies of suicidal behaviour amongst the Sinhalese of a small town on the northwest coast of the island. A combination of ethnographic, archival, clinical, and epidemiological methods were used that incorporated both qualitative and quantitative approaches. As a result, deep understanding of the range of contexts and experiences that contribute to and frame suicidal behaviour was established. In particular, romantic relationships and romantic loss, marriage, kinship and domestic stress, Sinhalese emotional disorder, and separation and misfortune were examined. The research will make contributions to the anthropology of suicide and South Asia and also anthropological theory.
Gerkey, Andrew Patrick, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'From State Collectives to Local Commons: Koryak Salmon Fishers and Reindeer Herders in the Russian Far East,' supervised by Dr. Lee Cronk
DREW GERKEY, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, received a grant in June 2007 to aid research on 'From State Collectives to Local Commons: Koryak Salmon Fishers and Reindeer Herders in the Russian Far East,' supervised by Dr. Lee Cronk. This project examined cooperation and collective action among Koryak salmon fishers and reindeer herders living on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East. The grantee completed eleven months of research (October 2007-August 2008) at several locations, including the regional capital, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and three villages in the Oliutorsky District (Tilichiki, Khailino, and Vyvenka). The primary goals of this project were to understand how contemporary fishers and herders negotiate cooperative relationships, and how differing cultural norms and values embodied in collective institutions affect these negotiations. The grantee worked with fishers and herders in two kinds of collective institutions: 1) government owned and managed collectives formed during the Soviet era (sovkhoz); and 2) privately owned and managed collectives created during the post-Soviet era (obshchina). A variety of qualitative and quantitative ethnographic methods were used to collect data on cooperation within these collectives, including participant observation, interviews, surveys, and experimental economic games. These ethnographic data can be synthesized to understand the conditions that foster cooperation within sovkhoz and obshchina collectives and the factors that cause cooperation to break down.
Rofel, Dr. Lisa Beth, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Made in China, Designed in Italy: The Twenty-First Century Silk Road'
DR. LISA ROFEL, University of California, Santa Cruz, California, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Made in China, Designed in Italy: The Twenty-first Century Silk Road.' This project addressed three questions: 1) how is the cultural contact zone between China and Italy constructing a historically specific form of transnational capitalism in China?; 2) how has this cultural contact zone with Italy enabled changing moral valuations of labor and social inequality in China?; and 3) how has the Italy-China high-fasion textile production led to a culturally and historically specific understanding of desire and 'cosmopolitanism' in China? The field research, conducted in both China and Italy, found that: 1) both subcontracting and changes in the temporality of production and marketing have both arisen out of the cultural contact zone with Italian fashion design firms; 2) most managers have not put the recent socialist past fully behind them and are quite articulate about the poor treatment of workers; and 3) Chinese involved in the textile industry see themselves as successfully cosmopolitan to the extent that they can succeed in all aspects of the textile industry, including those aspects in which the Italians still predominate -- design, and marketing in Europe and the U.S.
Bauer, Kenneth M., Oxford U., Oxford, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Land Use Change and Socio-Economic Transformations among Nomads in Porong, Central Tibet,' supervised by Dr. Laura M. Rival
KENNETH M. BAUER, then a student at Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in September 2003 to aid research on 'Land Use Change and Socio-Economic Transformations among Nomads in Porong, Central Tibet,' supervised by Dr. Laura M. Rival. This field research investigated land use change and the impacts of government development policies among Tibetan pastoralists during the second half of the twentieth century. This work describes and analyzes the rhetoric and implementation of development policies by the Chinese government in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). This history of land use dynamics, socio-economic change, and policy phases, is grounded in a case study of Porong Township (Nyelam County, Shigatse Prefecture, TAR, PRC). The grantee gathered several kinds of evidence, which will be interpreted using a multi-disciplinary approach. Support enabled the grantee to collect and translate historical texts describing land use and to interview pastoralists, government agents, and NGO workers, as well as work with local pastoralists to map historical and contemporary pasture boundaries.
Yu, Xiao J., York U., Toronto, ON, Canada - To aid research on 'The Ethnic Law and the Making of Ethnic Identities in China,' supervised by Dr. Susan G. Drummond
XIAO YU, then a student at York University, Toronto, Canada, received funding in June 2005 to aid research on 'The Ethnic Law and the Making of Ethnic Identities in China,' supervised by Dr. Susan G. Drummond. This research contributes a legal ethnography of the social life of China's minzu law, with a focus on its role in identity making. Based on the fieldwork in Xiangxi, a multi-ethnic hinterland of South-central China, it provides a remedy to contemporary writings of China's ethnicities that pay little heed to the role of the minzu law in ethnicities. It also challenges the legal Orientalist discourse that simplistically depicts the Chinese minzu law as imposed by the State as a sham or merely 'law on paper' that is too impotent to have any power. The dissertation demonstrates that legibility and balancing act as teleologies were consistently invoked in the minzu law applications, while two strategies -- ethnicization of the regional, and regionalization of the ethnic -- were constantly embedded in the processes of negotiating identities. To the extent that local ethnoscape and ethnic identities were profoundly transformed by the law's applications in Xiangxi and elsewhere in China, it argues that such a seemingly impotent law has in fact made undeniable important socio-legal deeds, which in turn has made the law itself into a self-referencing, autopoietic legal subsystem that mandates to standardize the country's ethnicities and to perpetuate its legally sanctioned ethnic identities.
Haanstad, Eric J., U. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on 'Global Policing Enacted: An Ethnographic Analysis of International Law Enforcement in Thailand,' supervised by Dr. Katherine A. Bowie
ERIC J. HAANSTAD, then a student at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, received funding in December 2002 to aid research on 'Global Policing Enacted: An Ethnographic Analysis of International Law Enforcement in Thailand,' supervised by Dr. Katherine A. Bowie. Research pursued an ethnographic examination of the Thai police. To provide historical contextualization for the project, the grantee used archival sources to gather police histories, Thai-language works on police-related topics, and interviews with retired Thai police officers. This portion of the research is expected to result in the flrst extensive English language history of the Thai police. Using an 'incident-based' methodology, fieldwork focused on three major police social-order campaigns: a three-month drug suppression campaign, a three-month 'War on Dark Influence,' and the massive security preparations for the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Bangkok. These campaigns culminated in a national public spectacle in December declaring a 'drug- free Thailand.' Ethnographic data was drawn from a wide variety of sources including more than a hundred interviews (with Thai police officers, DEA agents, taxi drivers, hospital administrators and the director of the Thai Forensic Science Institute); Thai TV news coverage of coundess police raids; anti-drug music recordings of classically-trained police singers; and issues of 'Top Cop' magazines with glossy centerfolds of SWAT teams and automatic weaponry. Using this data, research shows how social control is part of a local cultural-historical context and how the police are key performers/ symbols in the construction of order by the state.
Sethi, Aarti, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Chronicles of Deaths Foretold?: Farmers' Suicides in Chhattisgarh, India,' supervised by Dr. Rosalind Morris
Preliminary abstract: More than a quarter of a million farmers have committed suicide across India since 1995. Since what one report terms the 'largest wave of recorded suicides in human history' (Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, 2011) first received attention in the mid-nineties, the 'farmer's' suicide' has emerged as a potent politically charged symbol for intense public debates on the depredations of neoliberal structural adjustment, and the failures of state and society. Scholarly and activist discourses have attempted to establish causal links between the suicide of farmers and large-scale industrial transformation of agricultural production in the early 1990s. My research focuses on the suicides of farmers in the Durg and Mahasamund districts of Chhattisgarh in order to examine the means by which suicide is transformed from an exceptional occurrence in peasant life, to entering a culturally available repertoire of action. By examining affects and narratives around suicide deaths among cultivars in Mahasamund and Durg on the one hand, and the ways in which the category of the 'farmers' suicide' is energized as the grounds of new political mobilizations against neoliberalism on the other, my project explores the relationship between sociostructural marginality, forms of life and political possibility, under neoliberal precarity.