Abstract

In the bureaucratic moments that Michael Herzfeld describes, functionaries of the nation-state deny the contingent points of possible connection with their hapless subjects yet draw on a common symbolic language to do so—thus is the institution reproduced. Such ethnographic moments implicitly rely on other moments, those informed by their expressed lack of total order: illicit activities, games, and competitive verbal performance; cultural intimacy is generated in such occasions of private fallibility. This article explores what happens when a different kind of institution, a virtual world maker, attempts to colonize such disorder to govern legitimately.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1518
Print ISSN
0003-5491
Pages
pp. 355-371
Launched on MUSE
2010-07-22
Open Access
No
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