This book presents a nuanced ethnographic study of Islam and secularism in post-Soviet Central Asia, as seen from the small town of Bazaar-Korgon in southern Kyrgyzstan. Julie McBrien explores belief and non-belief, varying practices of Islam, discourses of extremism, and the role of the state, to elucidate the everyday experiences of Bazaar-Korgonians. She shows how Islam is explored, lived, and debated in both conventional and novel sites, and argues that religion is not always a matter of belief— sometimes it is essentially about belonging. McBrien details the complex process of evolving religion in a region that has experienced both Soviet atheism and post-Soviet secularism, each of which has profoundly formed the way Muslims interpret and live Islam.
Azan on the Moon is an in-depth anthropological study of people’s lives along the Pamir Highway in eastern Tajikistan. Based on extensive fieldwork and through an analysis of construction, mobility, technology, media, development, Islam, and the state along the Pamir Highway, Mostowlansky shows how conceptualizations of modernity are both challenged and reinforced in contemporary Tajikistan.
A fascinating anthropological inquiry into the deeply ingrained presence of ancestors within the cultural, political, and spiritual discourse of Kazakhs. This ancestral dialogue sustains a unifying worldview by mediating questions of faith and morality, providing role models, and offering a mechanism for socio-political critique, change, and meaning-making.
A detailed analysis of contemporary, independent, indigenous-language audiovisual production in Mexico and in Mexican migrant communities in the United States. The contributors relate the styles and forms of collaborative and community media production to socially critical, transformative, resistant, and constitutive processes off-screen, thereby exploring the political within the context of the media.
Judith Beyer presents a finely textured ethnographic study that sheds new light on the legal and moral ordering of everyday life in northwestern Kyrgyzstan. Beyer shows how local Kyrgyz negotiate proper behavior and regulate disputes by invoking custom, known to the locals as salt. While salt is presented as age-old tradition, its invocation needs to be understood as a highly developed and flexible rhetorical strategy that people adapt to suit political, legal, economic, and religious environments.
Montgomery presents a rich ethnographic study on the practice and meaning of Islamic life in Kyrgyzstan. Through his years of on-the-ground research, he assembles both an anthropology of knowledge and an anthropology of Islam, demonstrating how individuals make sense of and draw meanings from their environments. This book offers the most thorough English-language study to date of Islam in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan.
Kinga Pozniak shows how the political, economic, and social upheavals in Nowa Huta, Poland have profoundly shaped the memory of these events in the minds of three generations of people who lived through them since the end of the Second World War.
Provides a comprehensive ethnography of writing in the Andes, and details the relationship between Andean peoples’ struggle to preserve their indigenous textual forms in the face of Western cirricula, with their struggle for land and power.
Morgan Y. Liu provides a rare ground-level analysis of post-Soviet Central Asia’s social and political paradoxes by focusing on an urban ethnic community: the Uzbeks in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, who have maintained visions of societal renewal throughout economic upheaval, political discrimination, and massive violence.This study examines the culturally specific ways that Osh Uzbeks are making sense of their post-Soviet dilemmas. These practices reveal deep connections with Soviet and Islamic sensibilities and with everyday acts of dwelling in urban neighborhoods. Osh Uzbeks engage the spaces of their city to shape their orientations relative to the wider world, postsocialist transformations, Islamic piety, moral personhood, and effective leadership.
Winner of the 2014 Central Eurasian Studies Society Book Award in the Social Sciences.
This volume chronicles the changing forms of indigenous engagement with the Ecuadorian state since the early nineteenth century that grew into the strongest unified indigenous movement in Latin America. Nine case studies examine how indigenous peoples have attempted to claim control over state formation in order to improve their position in society. It concludes with four comparative essays that place indigenous organizational strategies in Ecuador within a larger Latin American historical context.
Part field diary, part art critique, and part cultural anthropology— the book offers a glimpse of an aesthetic “other” (the Ishir [Chamacoco] of Parguay), causing us to reexamine Western perspectives on the interpretation of art, religion, and Native American culture.
The essays in this collection highlight theoretical issues surrounding concepts of power. These essayists argue that the only way to fully comprehend and analyze the complexities of power is to locate where the material, psychological, and social dimensions of political power are socially situated and reproduced.
In this fascinating study of a community of Chinese beggars, Schak offers evidence that challenges widely held theories on poverty. It is a path-breaking, systematic anthropological study that is one of the few works on beggars available.
This reference offers a simple method for choosing a valid sample of the world’s known societies for cross-cultural research.
An important contribution to medical anthropology, this work defines the principal causes if illness that are reported throughout the world, distinguishing those involving natural causation from the more widely prevalent hypotheses advancing supernatural explanations.