Indonesia -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy.
Alien labor, Indonesian -- Services for -- Foreign countries.
This paper examines the techniques and networks that enable the transnational movement of migrant laborers from Indonesia. Theoretically, the paper argues that governmentality is an effective concept through which to understand political economic relations across national borders and outside state institutions. The concept is useful not only in analysis of abstract policy prescriptions, but also in the apparently mundane methods that are intended to rationalize the training, delivery and security of migrant laborers. The intervention herein is in part methodological, in so far as the paper argues that the concept is useful in analyzing the everyday practices that are a frequent focus of ethnographic fieldwork. Empirically grounded in interviews and observational fieldwork in Indonesia, the paper describes the networks that facilitate transnational labor migration from the country and demonstrates the interconnection of the "global" economy with localized moral economies. Thus, the paper argues that transnational flows of migrant laborers are in fact dependent upon supposedly traditional patron-client networks. Furthermore, I suggest that some NGOs advocating for the rights of migrant workers are not inimical to state power, but in fact work to enhance it. Strategies to protect the rights of migrant laborers may bring about greater state
intervention in their lives. The paper proposes two technologies deployed by non-state entities, specifically human resources companies and NGOs, that facilitate transnational labor migration. The first are termed technologies of servitude and are intended to impart the skills and attitudes necessary to conduct domestic labor. The latter are technologies for rationalizing labor flows to wealthier countries of the Indian and Pacific Ocean regions.
Tecpán Guatemala (Guatemala) -- Social conditions.
September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001 -- Social aspects -- Guatemala -- Tecpán Guatemala.
In this paper, I recount narratives of two violent events, and of enduring feelings of blame, guilt, and complicity in Tecpán, Guatemala, a mostly Maya town in the highlands. Many locals had followed all the coverage of September 11. Just months later, this city that always sleeps witnessed its own arresting moment, the "tragedy of June 10 (2002)," an anti-tax demonstration that began peacefully but became violent when, it is said, local gang members tried to assassinate the mayor. In this emerging democratic public sphere, being seen or heard can be politically empowering and potentially dangerous. Social experiences of the protests had to conform to "post-war" idioms that increasingly privilege ideals of compromise, equality, and harmony. But, casting those ideals against televised experiences of 9/11, locals produced ways of seeing and hearing violence—and conceptualizing blame—that differ from both the discourses of retaliation and innocence that overwhelm the U.S. and the flattening idiom of democratic compromise that dominated so-called "reconciliation meetings" with the mayor. The protests speak to a number of contradictions involved in processes of economic and political decentralization in Guatemala. Silently embedded in local claims that "there is nothing to see here" is a history of violence, ongoing forms of social suffering, and the hard feelings that continue to link this sleepy little town to "decentralized" agencies. That Guatemala is not yet decentralized enough emerges finally as the dream of one local daykeeper, who already saw the tragedy of June 10 in his sleep months prior, who didn't warn his friends since they would not have believed him, and who still feels guilty.
Tamil (Indic people) -- Sri Lanka -- Ethnic identity.
Nationalism -- Sri Lanka.
In this essay I argue that Tamilnet.com, an Internet news agency put together by a group of Sri Lankan Tamils to address the Tamil diaspora and influence English-speaking elites, subverted international news coverage during Sri Lanka's civil war by making "ironic" use of the discursive styles of journalism and anthropology. I also claim that this constituted a particular form of autoethnographic popular anthropology that challenged professional anthropology, and in some ways sought to replace it. In the first two sections of this essay, I dismantle the concept of "the popular" by showing that when anthropologists and social theorists use the term they are often referring to connected but distinct aspects of popularity which should be distinguished: Baudrillardian market popularity on the one hand, and Habermasian identity-resistance popularity on the other. I then show how the Internet, given its technology and software, is best seen as market popular in form but identity-resistance popular in content. In the remaining four sections I illustrate, ethnographically, how the creators of Tamilnet.com, while deeply embedded in civil war and a world-wide diaspora, recognized this aspect of the Internet and used it—again, "ironically"—to construct a site that advances their own nationalist interests.
ethnography, Internet, autoethnography, popular anthropology, journalism, irony, nationalism, Sri Lanka, Tamil, diaspora, agency, Toronto
Social Thought and Commentary: Culture's Open Sources, C.M. Kelty, ed.