Anthropological Quarterly

Anthropological Quarterly
Volume 75, Number 4, Fall 2002


Articles

    Silverstein, Paul A.
  • An Excess of Truth: Violence, Conspiracy Theorizing and the Algerian Civil War
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    Subject Headings:
    • Algeria -- Politics and government -- 1990-
    • Islam and politics -- Algeria.
    • Political violence -- Algeria.
    Abstract:
      This essay examines the proliferation of practices of conspiracy theorizing among Algerian citizens and expatriates in light of the current civil war that since 1992 has resulted in 100,000 deaths and an ongoing state of emergency disrupting nascent democratic legal and political processes. Seeking to provide transparent accounts of opaque military actions, Algerian conspiracy theorizing adopts a totalizing rhetoric that eschews uncertainty and fetishizes causality and actor intentionality. The article argues that such rhetoric outlines a shared political culture for Algerians across ethnic, linguistic, and ideological divides. While constituting a vernacular sphere of transnational knowledge production and circulation (a Foucauldian "regime of truth"), this political culture of conspiracy simultaneously provides a discursive prop for military and governmental structures of power whose coherence is otherwise placed in jeopardy by the civil war violence. What is at issue in the end is the role of social practices like conspiracy theorizing in dialectical structures of hegemonic processes [conspiracy, violence, hegemony, transnational processes, Algeria].

      December 1998, Paris. I have just returned to my field site after an 18 month absence. I phone my main "informant," Akli, a Kabyle activist who has lived in France for the last six years since fleeing the ongoing civil war in Algeria. He is working as a language teacher and hotel manager, and is married to a French-Kabyle woman with whom he has a small son. After standard greetings in Taqbaylit (Kabyle Berber) we switch to French. "So," he asks, "who killed Matoub?" referring to the July assassination of outspoken Kabyle folksinger and militant, Lounès Matoub, while on a family visit to Algeria. Matoub had been nearly killed twice previously, first by an state policeman during the October 1988 nationwide demonstrations, and again when apparently kidnapped by an Islamist militia in 1994. (The details of both incidents, reported in Matoub's 1995 best-selling autobiography, had been widely doubted by his detractors). Matoub was also a friend and comrade of Akli. "The papers claimed he had been killed at a false roadblock, that the government has arrested several members of the GIA [Armed Islamic Group]," I reply simply. But Akli casts certain doubt: "Which newspapers? Do you believe them? Who knew he was going to be on that road, anyways? The question is: Who had the most to benefit." Akli then rehearses the political logic of a number of possible alternative scenario—the government wanting to eliminate a thorn in its side; Kabyle militants wanting to create a martyr—before espousing a conspiracy between military and Islamist forces. This thread of conversation continues for sometime, and I'm left wondering, what is Akli's interest in this conclusion? We end the phone call agreeing to meet in person and talk more.

    Gezon, Lisa L.
  • Marriage, Kin, and Compensation: A Socio-Political Ecology of Gender in Ankarana, Madagascar
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    Subject Headings:
    • Land use, Rural -- Madagascar -- Ankàrana Massif.
    • Women -- Madagascar -- Ankàrana Massif -- Economic conditions.
    • Women -- Madagascar -- Ankàrana Massif -- Social conditions.
    • Political ecology -- Madagascar -- Ankàrana Massif.
    Abstract:
      While women play a central role in agriculture throughout Africa, it does not follow that all rural-dwelling women subsist primarily on agricultural activities. In the Ankarana region of northern Madagascar, for example, many rural women earn their living through a combination of agricultural day labor, petty buying and selling, and remunerated sexual and domestic relations with men. Their situation encourages an analysis of the multiple ways that woman participate in shaping patterns of resource use and access. These include contributions to the productive process, participation in decision-making, and finally, social reproduction of the labor force and of gender ideologies. This piece explores the complex relationships between gender and local resource use, concluding that attention to the gendered dynamics of resource use, access and management not only accounts for a frequently overlooked segment of the population, but it also contributes to more sophisticated understandings of the ways that humans gain access to, manage, and interact with material environment around them by engaging in relationships that are at once complementary and competitive. [political ecology, gender, Madagascar, agriculture, social differentiation]
    Orta, Andrew.
  • "Living the Past Another Way:" Reinstrumentalized Missionary Selves in Aymara Mission Fields
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    Subject Headings:
    • Missionaries -- Bolivia.
    • Aymara Indians -- Missions -- Bolivia.
    • Catholic Church -- Missions -- Bolivia.
    Abstract:
      This article examines Catholic missionaries in the Bolivian highlands. I focus on missionary conversion accounts—narratives of self-transformation in the face of their local mission fields—taking these as an analytic opportunity to address the positions of such global agents as component subjects of Aymara locality. Negotiating preexisting expectations of Catholicism and its representatives as necessary for the reproduction of local Aymara social life as well as emerging pastoral ideologies with their own expectations of indigenous locality, the self-transformation experienced by missionaries in the field asserts a reinstrumentalized missionary self as a plausible translocal subject. [missionization, Catholicism, locality, Aymara, Bolivia, South America]

Social Thought and Commentary:

    Morgen, Sandra.
  • The Politics of Welfare and of Poverty Research
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    Subject Headings:
    • Aid to families with dependent children programs -- Political aspects -- United States.
    • Poverty -- Research -- United States.
    Schleiter, Mary Kay, 1949-
    Statham, Anne.
  • U.S. Welfare Reform and Structural Adjustment Policies
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    Subject Headings:
    • Aid to families with dependent children programs -- United States.
    • Women -- United States -- Economic conditions.

New Releases (Books Published This Quarter):

    Cole, Donald Powell.
  • People, the State, and the Global in Cairo
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ghannam, Farha, 1963- Remaking the modern: space, relocation, and the politics of identity in a global Cairo.
    • Urbanization -- Egypt -- Cairo.

Book Reviews

    Johnston, Susan A.
  • In Pursuit of Gender: Worldwide Archaeological Approaches, and: Gender and the Archaeology of Death (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Nelson, Sarah M., 1931-, ed. In pursuit of gender: worldwide archaeological approaches.
    • Rosen-Ayalon, Myriam, ed.
    • Arnold, Bettina, ed. Gender and the archaeology of death.
    • Wicker, Nancy L., ed.
    • Social archaeology.
    Anderson, Jon W.
  • Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity among the Daudi Bohras (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Blank, Jonah. Mullahs on the mainframe: Islam and modernity among the Daudi Bohras.
    • Ismailites -- India.
    Asher, Kiran.
  • Amazonia: Territorial Struggles on Perennial Frontiers (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Little, Paul E., 1953- Amazonia: territorial struggles on perennial frontiers.
    • Human ecology -- Amazon River Valley -- History.
    Birth, Kevin K., 1963-
  • Wizards and Scientists: Explorations in Afro-Cuban Modernity and Tradition (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Palmié, Stephan. Wizards and scientists: explorations in Afro-Cuban modernity and tradition.
    • Blacks -- Cuba -- Religion.



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