01 (1)


Towards a Theory of Ritual Pranks
Alan Dundes

Humor in Ritual Behaviour among Marathi Speakers in India
Mahadev L. Apte

Thomas Crump

Jojada Verrips

Michael Harbsmeier

Roger M. Keesing

A.C. Zijderveld, Over narren en hun gespiegelde werkelijkheid
Rob van Ginkel
Ton Lemaire, De Indiaan in ons bewustzijn
Evelien Tonkens

Peter Pels















20 (2)

Daydreaming Between Dusk and Dawn
Orvar Löfgren & Billy Ehn

The play of light and dark from dusk to dawn produces rich ituations for daydreaming.
This paper explores such terrains of everyday fantasies, drawing on a larger, ongoing
study of daydreaming as a cultural practice. Taking the Scandinavian experience with its strong
seasonal variations in light as a starting point, different contexts of nightly daydreams are
explored, the twilight zone, the sleepless hours at night, the approaching dawn and its morning
routines. How are moods and daydreams linked in such situations, what kinds ofcultural raw
materials are used and how have the conditions changed over time?


Life After Dark in Kwahu Tafo
Sjaak van der Geest

The author reflects on four nocturnal topics he observed during his research in
Kwahu-Tafo, a rural Ghanaian town: witchcraft, sex, human waste removal and sleeping. Yet
little of his fieldwork was in fact nocturnal. He also asked school students to write about their
views of life after dark in their town. From these reflections, the night in Kwahu-Tafo is revealed
as both the ‘enemy’ of the day – a realm for activities that were not allowed or possible during
the day – and as the day’s indispensable companion. The night solves the moral dilemmas of the
day. The night provides the coulisses of the day. (back)

Testing Nightscapes. African Pentecostal. Politics of the Nocturnal
Rijk van Dijk

Pentecostalism in Africa has developed a special relationship with the night as a
time for conducting specific religious activities. Of these, the night vigil is the best-known, with
its underlying notions concerning darkness, invisible powers, faith and community. Ghanaian
Pentecostals view the night as a kind of landscape where certain spaces and places become important
to test the strength of one’s personal faith and convictions because the time after dark produces
ambiguities of the good and the bad, or the superior and the inferior, of the spiritual powers
that manifest themselves. Participation in Pentecostal night-time activities signals a modernity of
Pentecostal beliefs and identities which, by confronting the powers of darkness, bring about a
strengthening of the faith that churches and leaders aim to establish in interaction with their following.
This contribution ventures to sensitize anthropology to the modernity of these forms of
Christianity and the way they are becoming active producers of social and spiritual environments
– defined here as Pentecostal nightscaping – as testing grounds for the efficacy of their faith. (back)

Bangalore @ Night. Indian IT Professionals and the Global Clock Ticking
Michiel Baas

This article deals with the question of what the night means to IT (information
technology) professionals working in the Indian IT industry in Bangalore. In particular, it argues
that the way IT work gets done (in India) demands a type of flexibility of an IT worker that‘forces’ him to rethink perceptions of working hours (in particular day and night shift). At the
same time the article introduces the accounts of people who do not work for the IT industry,
but have to deal with its impact on a daily basis. Their comments give us a deeper understanding
of the working of this industry and the impact it has made on the city of Bangalore. (back)

To balance
Franziska Jentsch

Nothing Shines as Bright as a Beirut Night

Nicolien Kegels

In times of peace, rich Lebanese youth use the glitzy, glamorous, yet rigidly
regulated nightlife of Beirut as the stage on which to imagine themselves ‘a class apart’ from
the chaotic everyday reality of a politically and economically unstable country. In times of war,
nightlife continues as usual, yet this time it allows the young-and-trendy to imagine themselves
to be as Lebanese as everybody else. Under the slogan ‘war or peace, we continue to live life as
normal’, members of the Beiruti party scene assert their Lebanese-ness by embedding their
clubbing in a national discourse of resistance and resilience. (back)





20 (1)

Cyberkurds and Cyberkinetics
Pilgrimage in an Age of Virtual Mobility
Shailoh Phillips

In this exploration, I pose that the Internet activity of diasporic Kurds can be understood in terms of a cyberkinetic pilgrimage. Using the Issue Crawler to chart this virtual realm indicates that an online Kurdish issue network connects people with vastly differing opinions, from multiple locations, but with a strong geographical anchorage in Europe. ‘Eurokurds’ active in cyberspace are organized around issues: primarily a quest for Kurdistan, a journey that partly shapes its own destination. The Kurdish issue network also facilitates interlinkage between groups such as the Kurds and the Yezedi, who are generally segregated in offline settings. Virtual mobility however does not render physical events obsolete. Instead, online activity facilitates and encourages offline organization and cultivates a Kurdish diasporic awareness.



Walking Middle Passage History in Reverse
Interfaith Pilgrimage, Virtual Communitas and World-Recathexis
Peter Sutherland

This essay uses the yearlong, transatlantic, Afro-Buddhist, ‘Interfaith Pilgrimage of the Middle Passage’ performed in 1998-9 by a transnational Japanese Buddhist peace project, the Nipponzan Myohoji order, to reassess Victor Turner’s classic concept of ‘communitas’ under current conditions of global cultural reterritorialization. In describing the pilgrims’ goal of healing the legacy of slavery, racism, by walking Atlantic history in reverse, I attempt to understand the ironic outbreak of racism among the pilgrims. In doing so, I ask how the ­pilgrims’ use of hybrid ritual practices and a website to broadcast reports from the road complicates Turner’s straightforward vision of communitas as a monocultural phenomenon and a face-to-face experience. (back)

Pilgrimage in Mediaspace
Continuities and Transformations
Nick Couldry

The concept of pilgrimage has a contested history, but this article argues that the Turnerian notion of pilgrimage as a compulsory journey to a focus of shared values remains of fundamental relevance, and is directly applicable to the range of journeys people now make to locations associated with media. After introducing the concept of ‘media pilgrimage’, the article discusses various challenges: first, from the argument that relatively banal journeys to media locations cannot possibly be compared to the intensity of religious pilgrimage; second, from the complexities of making the concept of ‘media pilgrimage’ work in transcultural comparison; and thirdly, from the difficulties of understanding what would continue ‘pilgrimage’ in the online environment of digital media. The article concludes the concept of media pilgrimage remains a useful one, even if its future boundaries are right now particularly uncertain.(back)

Emotive Movement on the Road to Santiago de Compostela
Mexican Futurities Evoked by Past and Present Power Mongers
Janneke Peelen and Willy Jansen

This article focuses on the emotions pilgrims experience on the road to Santiago de Compostela in the northwest of Spain. An increasing number of pilgrims take the road ( el camino ) to Santiago, but for many of them the movement on foot seems to be more important than reaching the tomb of St. James. The article asks what emotions pilgrims experienced, whether these were related to a quest for healing and given a spiritual or religious meaning, and if so how. Moreover, it asks what role bodily movement played in evoking these emotions. As well as through interviewing pilgrims, material was gathered through participant observation and experiencing the impact of ritual movement by walking the pilgrims’ route together with the pilgrims. We argue that the current revived interest for walking el camino cannot be explained without understanding the spiritual and healing effects it can have for pilgrims. Through our focus on emotions, we want to contribute to the anthropological debate on the often-ignored importance of bodily movement in religious rituals. (back)





19 (2)


We were a bit hesitant putting the ugly neologism ‘landscaping’ on the cover of one of
our issues. Couldn’t we simply be discussing ‘landscapes’? Fact is that the contributions
in this issue – almost all papers presented in a session at the biannual conference
of the Dutch Anthropological Association (ABV) – discuss the very production of
landscapes as an imaginative process of something in the making. They argue that
it is the constitutive process, the making of landscapes, rather than the final product
that provides us with the necessary insight. And that process is, indeed, best captured
by turning the noun into a verb. Whether it is ‘landscaping’ in Tamil Nadu wedding
videos, the making of future nature in the Netherlands, the defence of rural landscape
against encroaching tourist settlements or urbanization, or the mediated cultural
heritage of Mexico’s pre-Latin past, in all cases it is not just the material proofs of
human production that attracts our attention, but the envisioning of landscape. More
than we actually ‘see’, it is our (often mediated) fantasy, imagination and indeed foregrounding
of a scenic future that is at stake in the present issue. (back)


Tamil Wedding Souvenirs of Predictive Love: Future Memories in South India
Roos Gerritsen

In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, almost everybody has a video and a photo album of their wedding. These weddings souvenirs do not only consist of footage recorded during weddings ceremonies, but fragments of popular cinema are inserted into these wedding documents: landscape backdrops and sounds that metaphorically reveal romance between a movie’s hero and heroine. In the case of wedding souvenirs, however, brides and grooms replace the movie heroes performing in these landscapes. In this paper, I address these wedding souvenirs by highlighting the inserted landscapes and lyrics that generate romance or, more specifically, desired future romance that should originate after the wedding celebrations. (back)

An Ecology of Prospects
Time and Nature in Dutch Landscapes
Maarten Onneweer

Coinciding with new national policies to counter ecological degradation through the construction of so called ‘new nature’, Dutch nature areas have become subjected to a mushrooming of signs and other information media. Many of these signs aim to provide the public not only with information on species of plants and animals present in the area, but also, and often solely, with prospects of ecological processes and experiences of nature. In this article I demonstrate how time is used in the production and introduction of new nature landscapes. The main question is how signs providing ‘a view of the future’ relate to developments in the discourses of national policies on land-use designation, scientific discovery and ecological recovery, but also how their presence in the landscape is constitutive of the landscape and the positioning of different stakeholder groups in a changing and contested Dutch rurality. (back)

Exclusive Visions of an Inclusive City
Professionals and the Mediation of Multicultural Urban Space in Riobamba, Ecuador
Christien Klaufus

Riobamba is the capital city of a rural Ecuadorian province with a large Indian population. Although the urban landscape has always been characterised by social and ethnic diversity, socio-spatial politics that are dominated by a white-mestizo middleclass have long been openly exclusionist. Recently, excluded groups such as Indians and rural migrants have been asserting themselves more visibly in urban space and architecture. As a result, in 2003, a group of professional architects and urban planners organised a debate about the future of the city. Though the aim of the debate was to explore ways of creating a multicultural urban landscape, the themes that emerged included an alleged attempt by Indians to recapture urban territory, the perceived loss of local identity, and a chaotic urban image which was attributed to the ‘ruralisation’ of space. In this paper I analyse this debate and the aims and interests of the professionals. Despite the fact that the official aim of the debate was to envision a more inclusive multicultural city, more attention was paid to social and ethnic differences than to a shared history. To complicate things further, power struggles between competing groups of professionals put pressure to any consensus on the city’s future. The discussion about the inclusive city reveals how professionals tried to reclaim exclusive control over the urban spatial order. (back)

Mexican Futurities Evoked by Past and Present Power Mongers
Alexander Geurds

In Latin American nations, pre-colonial monumental architecture often forms the context of struggles related to land property issues as well as identity-driven discourse on the supra-local national and international level. This paper examines discourses related to the ­construction of a supermarket owned by the Wal-Mart Corporation in the direct vicinity of the pre-colonial archaeological site of Teotihuacan, Mexico. Currently, Teotihuacan can be seen as an architectural nexus of tradition regulated by supra-local mediators such as the national ­government and the UN, all of which impose what I refer to as a ‘futurity of heritage’ on the site. In portraying archaeological remains as a historical icon, and managing it as a significant part of Mexico’s national history, a futurity of heritage for Teotihuacan is mediated. Today, it is the quintessential materialization of Mexico’s indigenous past, and 100,000s of tourists yearly visit this locality. Against the backdrop of heightening integration with the US, the location chosen for this Wal-Mart subsidiary generated a conflict between numerous stakeholder groups in Mexico’s material past. An analysis is given of how meanings regarding this pre-colonial material heritage are engineered and mediated in this context. (back)

Changing Attitudes to Maltese Landscapes
Jeremy Boissevain

Malta’s countryside was once regarded as uncouth and dangerous. Since independence, materialism and tourism have brought about a building boom, which has ground up the countryside covered it in new houses, tarmac and rubble and transformed old neighbourhoods. Some Maltese are now beginning to view landscape as heritage and are defending it against those who want to exploit it as a commercial resource. The country’s landscapes are hotly contested. The paper examines the process by which this change of attitude has occurred.

Global Environmental Ideoscapes, Blighted Cityscapes

City, Island and Environment in Jamaica and Curaçao
Rivke Jaffe

Islands such as Jamaica and Curaçao are recognized for the intrinsic value of their diverse ecologies, while their tourism-based economies are strongly dependent on unspoiled natural landscapes and an Edenic image of the Caribbean that can be traced back to colonial times. This paper examines the clash between the ‘green’ global ideological landscape of ngo and government actors attempting to preserve paradise, and the contradictory idea of blighted cityscapes as experienced by residents in polluted urban areas. An analysis is given of the ways in which different actors have made strategic use of various media to impose their visions of the city and the island. (back)





19 (1)

Romantic Love and Anthropology

Charles Lindholm, Boston Uinversity

Westerners generally understand romantic love as a compelling emotional attraction to an idealized other. The Western notion of romantic love is spreading worldwide, while simultaneously theorists argue that romance is losing its authority due to the conditions of post-modernity. This paper seeks to move the discussion of love toward a more comparative and historical level, and argues that romantic love is neither universal, nor a uniquely Western institution. Rather, it is best understood as a form of the sacred, which appears in various forms under certain specific social conditions. It can blossom or fade, but the impulse behind it is not likely to vanish. The paper provides a short history of the study of romantic love in Western social thought and then goes on to present a structural analysis of romantic love in several cultures and epochs. (back)


Mass Media and Gender Equality

The Empowering Message of Romantic Love in Telenovelas
Janneke Verheijen, ICRISAT-Malawi

The increasing reach of mass media all across the globe implies, in theory at least, a large scale diffusion of specific cultural messages or values. Based on an in-depth ethnographic case-study in rural Guatemala (Verheijen 2005) – more specifically in a village where television has recently been introduced – this paper discusses the impact of a theme present in many forms of mass media entertainment, the theme of romantic love. Contrary to the general assumption that mass media perpetuate gender inequality by incessantly reaffirming traditional gender roles, this case study shows that the classic message of romantic love can have a profound emancipating impact on its receivers. (back)

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

The Intimate Relationships of Dakarois Girls

Anouka van Eerdewijk, Radboud University Nijmegen

This article investigates the role that love and money play in the intimate relationships of unmarried girls in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. Love carries multiple meanings for these girls. It is related to feelings and ideas about exclusivity and reciprocity. Moreover, it is also an expression of individuality and modernity in relation to parents and relatives. The high expectations that girls have of love are related to the reliability of friendship and the importance of marriage. Ideally, love is incompatible with material interests in intimate relationships, but in reality both love and money are part of girls’ actual relationships. This article attempts to shed light on the discrepancies and ambiguities around love and money in these girls’ relationships.

Love When Love Could Not Be

An Example of Romantic Love from the Caribbean
Francio Guadeloupe

No abstract available

Romance Tourism on Ambergris Caye, Belize

The Entanglement of Love and Prostitution
Joan van Wijk, Free University Amsterdam

The Caribbean is a region where many local men engage in sexual relationships with female tourists. In the sociological literature love and romance are seen as important aspects of these relationships. The local men are given names like ‘gigolo’s’, ‘beach boys’ and ‘romance entrepreneurs’, and the female tourists have been labeled ‘romance tourists’. Male tourists are usually labeled ‘sex tourists’; their relationships are perceived to be of a mostly transactional nature. This article focuses on the men who are known for their sexual relationships with female tourists in Ambergris Caye, Belize. What do they gain from these relationships, are they experiencing ‘romantic love’? Furthermore, the article explores the constructions of gender and sexuality among the local population and the connection between romantic love and money. The article will show that despite the important role of economics in relationships between Belizeans, romance is emphasized where relationships with tourists are concerned.

When God Is Love

Reflections on Christian and Romantic Sentiments in Catholic Poland
Esther Peperkamp, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Although the topic of ‘love’ has started to attract the attention of social scientists, in modern historical and anthropological accounts of love religion is conspicuously absent. However, the continuing presence of religion in the contemporary world forces one to think about how religion impinges itself on modern intimacy and the other way around. Love itself has become a key notion in many Christian groups today, who profess that ‘God is love’. This article will describe the ambiguity of Christian practices and narratives of love in Catholic Poland. It focuses on how religion deals with popular understandings of love that through the media pervade everyday life. The Christian narrative is designed as a counter-narrative to these popular notions of love and intimacy, but simultaneously I will show how religion cannot afford not to engage with popular notions of love. The article will discuss how Christian ideas and practices of love relate to sexuality, intimacy and expectations of romantic love among religious youth in Poland. (back)

‘All You Need Is Love’

From Romance to Romanticism: The Beatles, Romantic Love and Cultural Change

Colin Campbell, University of York

By focusing on its place in popular culture, and in particular the popular song, this paper attempts to show that the ‘romantic love complex’ is not simply of significance because of its role in interpersonal relationships but can also act as a significant force for cultural change. This claim is then illustrated through an examination of the lyrics of The Beatles’ songs and how the way that these changed between the early and late 1960s reveals that their evolution from ‘mere rock ’n’ rollers’ to sophisticated advocates of a revolutionary romanticism was only made possible because of their initial commitment to the idea (and the ideal) of romantic love. (back)





18 (1)

Introduction: Ear to Ear, Nose to Nose, Skin
to Skin

The Senses in Comparative Ethnographic Perspective
Regina Bendix

Interest in understanding the cultural dimensions of sensory perception has been rising since the 1980s. As in early explorations of the senses, combinations of scholarly and poetic approaches appear to resonate most strongly. The challenge for anthropologists is twofold: 1) Attention to the senses should not develop into a new subdiscipline but rather become a focus integrated into the overall ethnographic project. 2) Ethnographic sensibility for sensory dimensions within cultural practices still require further development.(back)


Sensing Nature

Encountering the World in Hunting
Garry Marvin

In this article I explore issues of the embodiment and being in the world of human hunters in pursuit of animal prey in the context of hunting as sport. The focus is on the immediacy and the experience of hunting rather than an exploration of its social and cultural meaning. This is an attempt to evoke how it is to hunt rather than what it means to hunt. I argue that hunting is a fully embodied, multi-sensory and multi-sensual practice that depends on an immersion into a multi-sensory and multi-sensual world. At the heart of such hunting is a contest between humans and animals based on two sets of senses and senses. My attempt here is explore how the human sensing is experienced and the difficulties of capturing and evoking that experience in an anthropological text. (back)

Seeing in Motion and the Touching Eye
Walking over Scotland’s Mountains
Katrin Lund

In this paper I examine the senses of vision and touch in mountaineering. My aim is to demonstrate how approaches to vision in the Western context have been limited to the observing eye. During fieldwork with mountaineers in Scotland I learnt that how one senses the environment has to be considered in relation to the actual movement of the body and, thus, needs to be examined in relation to how the body measures itself to the ground. The body meets the ground and the touch affects the view because the walker’s attention shifts between focusing on the ground and looking into the distance. As a result the gaze into the distance cannot be taken out of the context of how the body treads the ground, which concludes that when approaching vision one needs to examine the eye, that not only sees, but also touches. (back)

Race, Place and Taste
Making Identities through sensory Experience
Emily Walmsley

Sensory experience is cultural, social and material and it therefore acts as a powerful means of binding people together, or of highlighting their differences. Taste, in particular, is an emotionally charged marker of either familiarity and belonging, or strangeness and alienation. This article uses taste and its interrelated senses as a focus for exploring the construction of subjectivities in a context where racial differences are reproduced through everyday cultural practices such as cooking and eating. In Ecuador, where this ethnography is located, race is understood in terms of place and thus regional cuisines and their associated tastes and smells often become representative of a localised black, indigenous or mestizo culture. Drawing on Howes’ (2005) idea of ‘emplacement,’ this study uses sensory experience to highlight the way in which identities are both discursively and materially constructed, and become embodied without becoming fixed. (back)

The Smell of Green-ness

Cultural Synaesthesia in the Western Desert (Australia)
Dianne Young

This paper explores the correspondence between colour and odour made by Pitjantjatjara people in the Western Desert of Australia. Although anthropologists have construed sound as the most important sense in structuring social events in Indigenous Australia, Aboriginal people also consider odour to be crucial. When the first rain drops hit the ground after a long dry spell, the smell of land is a smell of the new green growth to come. This odour is manufactured using odiferous plants and animal fats and applied to resurface human bodies, providing a conduit of communication with the Ancestral realm. Through this case study the paper will also address the differences between ‘cultural’ and ‘clinical’ synaesthesia’. (back)

Acute Pain Infliction as Therapy
Elisabeth Hsu

This essay begins with the observation that acute pain infliction is central to the therapeutic process in Chinese acupuncture. The common biomedical explanation for this is ‘counter-irritation’, yet this essay suggests that an acute pain event can cause a bodily felt, immediate social connectedness between patient and healer, which might be therapeutic. Since acute pain can effectively be communicated to others by non-verbal means, it has the capacity to break down habitual boundaries between persons, decentre both the person in pain and those in his or her close vicinity and enable instantaneous trans-individual communication. The collective presence of communally felt pain makes possible an embodied experience of sociality. Based on an anthropological definition of acute versus chronic pain, the essay suggests that life cycle events typically structure intrinsically (or potentially) painful situations into acute pain events. Concluding, this essay suggests that in medicalised societies the decline of acute pain events in life cycle rituals has led to the silent rise of chronic pain syndromes. (back)

Japanese Fragrance Descriptives and Gender Constructions
Preliminary Steps towards an Anthropology of Olfaction
Brian Moeran

We start with a paradox. On the one hand, academic literature asserts that the sense of smell varies in different social and cultural contexts, and that every social group has its own distinct olfactory culture. On the other hand, global advertising campaigns for perfumes suggest that fragrance is a universal form of semiotic communication. Are there, or are there not, specific olfactory cultures? This paper examines some of the evidence from Japan. Many languages have virtually no vocabulary to describe odours, except in terms of other senses of sight, sound, touch and taste, so that fragrance is communicated primarily through similes and metaphors. The paper describes how fragrance descriptives are used in Japanese journalism, marketing and related literature, before examining ways in which they help create and maintain gender constructions of various kinds. It then outlines specific aspects of Japanese olfactory culture, and suggests a methodology for the study of the anthropology of olfaction. (back)

Signs and Sight in Southern Uganda
Representing Perception in Ordinary Conversation
Ben Orlove & Merit Kabugo

Conversations in Luganda, a widely-spoken language in the East African nation of Uganda, frequently include discussions and evaluations of signs — readily observable phenomena that are understood to predict events that will soon take place. A corpus of material on this topic is examined, consisting of twenty signs and of four conversations in which these signs are discussed. Certain links are noted between specific sensory modes and these signs. The cultural significance of these sensory modes supports the cultural understanding that these signs are publicly available, rather than being restricted to certain individuals or conditions. It also supports the active discussion, rather than passive acceptance, of claims that individuals make to observing and interpreting signs. In this way, the cultural dimensions of sensory modes influence human perception and experience, and also support the public sphere of debates about the significance of events and about courses of action. (back)





17 (1/2)

Registers of 1ncontestability
The Quest for Authenticity in Academia and Beyond
Mattijs van de Port

This essay critically examines the tendency in anthropology to deconstruct claims of ‘authenticity’ wherever and however they are mentioned. The author argues that constructivist approaches to reality tend to overlook the fact that most people manage to transcend the constructedness of their life worlds, i.e. realize an authentically felt grounding of their views and understandings. Discussing examples from Serbia, the Netherlands and Bahia (Brazil), the author highlights that the construction of reality is at all times accompanied by processes of authentication – processes which often seek to ground a vision in such ‘incontestable facts’ as bodily experience, psycho trauma, loss and death (back)


‘Defending our Honor’
Authenticity and the Framing of Resistance in the Iraqi Sunni Town of Falluja
Roel Meijer

In April 2004 a revolt broke out against the American occupation in the Iraqi Sunni town of FalIuja. Besides a military confrontation, it was also a war of words how to conceptualise the clash of interests and vaIues of the indigenous population in opposition to those of the American occupation. At the heart of this clash was the issue who represented the authentic values of Iraq. Authenticity was framed in the concepts of honour and dignity, which have a deep cultural resonance. The article deals with the three stages of the radicalisation of resistance in Falluja, each of them characterized by the predominance of a certain concept of honour and dignity. The first was expressed in tribaI culturaIist terms, the second in nationalist-religious terms, while the third was framed in radical Salafi terms in defence of the Islamic Umma. All three claims to authenticity are said to represent the true, authentic values of Iraq. (back)

Purity and Transgression
Sacred Violence and the Quest for Authenticity
Oskar Verkaaik

In recent times, terrorism is often discussed as a religiously inspired course of action. Such explanations often reify and dehistoricize the religious concepts, models and traditions that are subsequently offered as explanatory motives for extreme violent behavior. However, religion is much more than an obstinate reaction against modernity, secularization and globalization. This article discusses how the cultural model of martyrdom offers an experience of authentic individuality as it instigates believers to transgress the social and political through self-sacrificial violence. By way of examples fiom Pakistan and the US army in Iraq, it is argued that self-sacrificial violence can be seen as a rite of passage that brings about the completion of the self. The search for authenticity that is part of present-day martyrdom makes it a thoroughly modern phenomenon. (back)

The Makah Whale Hunt and Leviathan’s Death
Reinventing Tradition and Disputing Authenticity in the Age of Modernity
Rob van Ginkel

In 1995, the Makah Indian Tribe (USA) publicly announced that it wished to revitalize its tradition of whale hunting. The Makah had treaty rights to hunt whales dating back to 1855 but gave up whaling in the 1920s. Environmentalists and animal rights activists adamantly opposed the Makah’s claim, but the tribe was successful in obtaining pennission to go whaling again. Vehement reactions followed. The discourse on the Makah whale hunting rights soon shifted to discussing the merits and demerits of Makah culture and the genuineness and legitimateness of the tribe’s wish to reconnect to its tradition. The present article describes and analyzes the debate, in particular as it relates to the issues of Makah heritage and its contested authenticity. (back)

‘I am not a goth!’
The Unspoken Morale of Authenticity within the Dutch Gothic Subculture
Agnes Jasper

Notions of authenticity and identity in Dutch gothic subculture focus on the paradox of being a subcultural insider, i.e. being simultaneously an individuaI and a member of a homogenous group. This paradox aIso triggers the problem of authentic identity. Gothic insiders emphasize that they are not goths, but that they identify with what they describe as gothic, only to explain later that that is not authentic gothic. I will argue that this denial is a subcultural strategy, a way to ‘ward off’ c1assificatory strategies of dominant, non-subcultural culture. Namely, as soon as criteria for sub-cultural identity are conceptualised, they can he copied by outsiders, and this should preferably be avoided. EmpiricaI material will display how gothic subculturaI identity is practiced within the monitoring and conceptualising processes prompted by outsiders like the media, and how authenticity seems to be a void, nothing but an abstract unspoken, sub-culturaI moraIe. (back)

Parades and Beauty Pageants
Encountering Authentic White Mountain Apache Culture in Unexpected Places
Inga W Schröder

This article explores authenticity in contemporary Native North American culture. not as a discourse presented in the political arena to legitimate claims against the American state, but as grounded in the experience of social relations embedded in local history. The Tribal Fair and Rodeo and the Miss White Mountain Apache pageant on the Fort Apache Reservation io Arizona are described to illustrate the processual production of, what I would like to call, local authenticity. Both culturaI formats are borrowed from Euro-American popular culture, but due to their long history at Fort Apache, their embeddedness in networks of local social relations. and their importance for the expression of distinctly Apache cultural values, they have become occasions where authentic Apache culture of today is displayed. (back)

Afrikania’s Dilemma
Reframing African Authenticity in a Christian Public Sphere
Marleen de Witte

This paper addresses the dilemma of a neo-traditional religious movement in Ghana. In its project of reviving and modemising the authentic religion of Ghana in the Christian­dominated public sphere, the Afrikania Mission is caught hetween the shrine priests in the rural areas, whom it tries to mobilise as keepers of ‘the real thing’, and the dominant, Christian formats and styles of representing religion in the media. Afrikania’s struggles for authenticity call for reftection on anthropology’s historical legacy in local debates on tradition. These debates are framed by a dualist opposition that does not allow for being modern and authentic at the same time. In order to be modern and civilised, Afrikania has to frame Afrikan Traditional Religion in Christian formats – which is contested by many shrine priests – but in order to he authentic it has to present itself as traditional Other to modern Christianity. (back)

Senses of Authenticity
Chieftaincy and the Poli tics of Heritage in Ghana
Katharina Schramm

This discussion places authenticity in the framework of Ghanaian heritage politics. It examines the interplay between assertions of an authentic (nationaI) culture and its exploitation in the tourist sphere. In Ghana, as in other postcolonial states, there is an ongoing debate among intellectuals and state representatives over cultural adulteration and the supposed loss of identity. In public forums and official statements, it is argued that culturaI preservation is necessary in order to ‘show something to the tourists’. Such heritage-tourism is mainly directed towards Africans from the diaspora who bring their own ideas concerning authentic African culture, claiming it as their own. Taking chieftaincy as an example, the author argues that authenticity is highly contested among local, national and Diasporan actors and thus appears as adynamic and ever-shifting category. Moreover, the very notion of culturaI heritage aIready implies asense of commodification, thereby blurring any strict opposition between ‘authentic’ and ‘adulterated’ culture. (back)

"Who is a Witch?
Contesting Notions of Authenticity Among Contemporary Dutch Witches
Martin Ramstedt

The commercialization of witchcraft in various Dutch Fantasy festivals, media and shops, boosted by the success of films, such as Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, has roused concern on the part of those who see witchcraft as an authentic mystery religion based on initiation. Representatives of different initiatory and hereditary witchcraft traditions were invited to voice their protest at two major fairs in 2003 and 2004. As their positions on ‘who is a witch?’ c1ashed with those of self-professed witches in the audience, they struggled to protect witchcraft as a ‘trademark’ of authenticated traditions. Marking contesting claims to authorship and ownership of as well as authority over the practice of western witchcraft, the different positions simultaneously attested to the normalization of the witchcraft movement as a whole. A proliferation of metaphorical readings of the concepts of witchcraft spurs a confluence of witchcraft and commercial Fantasy fiction. (back)

Authenticity as an Analytic Concept in Folkloristics
A Case of Collecting Folktales in Friesland
Eric Venbrux and Theo Meder

This article exarnines the notion of authenticity as applied in folktale collector A.A. Jaarsma’s endeavour to write down narratives from the oral tradition of ordinary folk in his home region of the Frisian Walden in the north of the Netherlands. Jaarsma was instructed by J.J. Voskuil, head of the Bureau of Ethnology at the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam, to collect authentic folktales. What did ‘authenticity’ mean according to fieldworker Jaarsma and ethnologist Voskuil, and just how (un)problematic is this notion? (back)

Pierre Bourdieu
Issues of Embodiment and Authenticity
Herman Roodenburg

This paper, using some recent insights from performance studies and other writings on embodiment, takes a second look at Bourdieu’s fieldwork in Algerian Kabylia. It is argued that as a consequence of Bourdieu’s taking Kabyle society as a strategic research site, he depicted its ritual traditions as something ‘authentic’, as basically primordial and unmediated. Much of the concepts’ lack of historicity may he explained by this search for authenticity, but the insights of schol ars who, building on Bourdieu, have enhanced our understanding of embodiment may weil remedy these shortcomings. (back)

‘This Is Not Mexico, This Is The Border’
Discourses on Authentic Mexican Culture in Tijuana
Hanneke Stolk

In this ariccle I use Baudrillard’s anaIysis ofDisneyland to understand the meaning of another constructed tourist environment: Avenida Revolución, a street located in the Mexican city of Tijuana, right at the border with the US. Avenida Revolución is commonly seen and described as a place of pure culturaI destruction, where ‘reaI’ Mexicanidad (Mexican cultural identity) has been lost due to the proximity and lure of American culture and the complete commercialization of Mexican culture. And yet, as Baudrillard’s anaIysis shows us, it is in such explicitly inauthentic and artificiaI locations that notions of culturaI authenticity come into being. I wiII discuss how American tourists and Tijuana’s residents working on this street interpret their practices and experiences with the help of historical discourses that define both the ‘real’ Mexican identity and the corrupting influence of foreign culture on the integrity of Mexican culture. The boundaries and contents of ‘authentic’ Mexican culture are thus defined and fortified. (back)





16 (2)

‘It Is Just a Fashion!’
Linking Homosexuality and ‘Modernity’ in South Africa
Graeme Reid

This paper explores the conceptual links between gay lifestyles and local understand­ings of modernity in South Africa . This is done through an analysis of the term ‘fashion’ as it is commonly used to describe gay men, which is contrasted with another term in common usage, namely stabane, an isiZulu word meaning hermaphrodite. The Miss Gay Queenstown 2000 beauty pageant illustrates complex and sometimes competing identities that need to be understood with reference to changing sexual mores associated with the introduction of a rights-based constitutional democracy in South Africa . The respected niche that gay men enjoy within the black hairstyling industry is explored in terms of client aspirations and various forms of gay self-styling. Beauty pageants and gay participation in the hairstyling profession offer a way of exploring the links between homosexuality and modernity in the public sphere. The paper concludes that there is an ambiguous inflection in the term ‘fashion’ when it is applied to homosexuality and that this can be understood as an expression of a deeper ambivalence towards modernity. (back)


Ephemeral Memorials Against Senseless Violence:
Materialisations of Public Outcry
Irene Stengs

Since the mid-nineties, in The Netherlands quite a number of cases of violent death have given rise to intense, short-lived attention from media and public, ‘senseless violence’ being their common denominator. It is argued that the responses of media and public evolve along the lines of a ritualised pattern, one of the material expressions being an ephemeral memorial. Taking the memorial for Anja Joos, the most recent victim of ‘senseless-violence’, as its starting point, this essay explores the popular concept of ‘senseless violence’, the evolution of the narrative behind the subsequent hypes, and the societal anxieties and issues on the background. (back)

Islam and Fashion on the Streets of San’a, Yemen
Annelies Moors

Can we speak of Islamic fashion or is this a contradiction in terms? This artic1e deals with a setting that is generally seen as traditionalist, that is San’a, the capital of the Yemen Arab Republic . If there seems to be little space for the development of fashionable women’s dress, both for the women concerned and for others taking an interest in women’s dress, such as conservative religious authorities, fashion is au issue. This artic1e sets out with a brief analysis of how conservative Islamists have discussed fashion in the colourful booklets they distribute in San’a. This then is followed by a description of debates that have taken place in San ‘a about women’s dress, starting in the 1960s, and trends in women’s everyday sartorial practices from the 1960s till 2000. The question whether Islam and fashion can go together turns out to be a question about Islam, agency, and modernity. Those who assume that Islam and fashion do not go together, be it Western scholars or the conservative authors of the booklets, as su me a link between wearing Islamic dress and tradition, albeit in a different way. The everyday sartorial practices of San’ani women obviously contradict such a point of view. (back)

Youth Fashion Craze, Immorality or Female Harassment?
Brigid M. Sackey

Apuskeleke is a term that has recently entered Ghanaian vocabulary. Its etymology is not known, but my field research revealed that it was first introduced in a ‘Hip-life’ song titled abuskeleke in early 2003. Its usage seems to have changed from describing young girls and women who move with ‘Sugar Daddies’ to extract money and other material goods in exchange for sex, to refer to young girls who dress in short, skin-tight outfits that expo se certain private parts of their bodies. Girls in such attire are supposed to be indecently clothed and are therefore insulted and hooted at in public, generally by men. The older generation also is not in favour of this new fashion craze. While the youth who are subscribers to this dress code unswervingly argue that it is a fashion they have a right to, the protestors think it is antagonistic to Ghanaian culture etiquette and therefore needs to be resented, if not banned. Apuskeleke is thus a contested phenomenon as it is embraced by some people and despised by others. (back)

Women in the Dance Scene Lose Themselves to Find the Self
Karin Wesselink

Fashion has not only to do with physical appearance, there is also an inside component. In the case of women who were going out in the Dutch dance scene during the summer of 2001 fashion is being used to find their inner self. And this searching seems to be a fashion in itself. It is fashion for these women to show the world they are women belonging to themselves. Only that ‘self’ can still be explored. One of the ways contemporary women do that is by using drugs and by using themselves in the music and in the shared feeling with the others.(back)

Reveal or Conceal?
American Religious Discourse With Fashion
Susan O. Michelman

This paper examines American religious discourse with fashion. In the current social environment, the interest in modesty is more than a shift in trends. The ascendance and assertion of religious views on the body can lead fashion, as demonstrated in the increasing interest in more modest fashion and movement against immodesty. Membership in evangelical and fundamental religions, which is currently increasing in numbers, is influencing non-religious consumer culture by pressuring designers, producers and retailers of fashion .(back)

Keeping Up Appearances
Fashion and Function Among Dar es Salaam Street Youth
Eileen Moyer

It is a commonly held view that young, urban people regularly spend too much money on their clothes and, further, that they too of ten consume in accordance with global trends too heavily influenced by Western, specifically American hip-hop, fashions. This article, drawing on empirical data gathered in Dar es Salaam , Tanzania , in the year 2000, demonstrates that young people, regardless of the marginality of their economic status, are able and prefer to make clothing choices based on complex reasoning strategies that take everyday living and working conditions into account. It argues that despite being heavily influenced by American hip-hop culture and Jamaiean Rastafari ideals, they consciously and intelligently work to achieve ‘a look’ that is suitable to their living environment and is also reflective of their own desires. (back)

The Murder of Pim Fortuyn and Collective Emotions
Hype, Hysteria and Holiness in The Netherlands?
Peter Jan Margr

The meteoric rise in the popularity of Pim Fortuyn and his political movement and its abrupt end, caused by his assassination on May 6 2002, was followed by an outburst of collective emotion. These phenomena involve two waves of hype in which the media played a major role. Massive media attention for Fortuyn as a politician who was gifted with great charisma and was ‘said to ‘speak the language of the people’, made politically inactive social groups conscious of the potential role he could fulfil in solving the social problems with which they were confronted. His sudden death was consequently a great loss for his followers. The outpouring of public emotion that followed resulted in the creation of several spontaneous shrines, where thousands left messages, and which were visited by many thousands more. For a large part of Dutch society, the intense media coverage of this new phenomenon made these shrines pre-eminent constructed foci for dealing with and processing Fortuyn’s murder. At the same time they functioned as ‘democratic’ tools in articulating criticism towards polities, and proved the hype to be an effective and meaningful one. (back)

Fads and Crazes
Jaap van Ginneken

What distinguishes fashion from fads or crazes? In addressing this question, the author argues that mainstream mass psychosocial explanations of mass behaviour fail to understand the sudden and unpredicted speed with which fads tend to come up and fade away. More qualitative research is needed to explore the complex, layered and even contradictory realities of the mind, society and their interactions. (back)

Community Aesthetics
Michel Maffesoli

This essay diseusses the inereasing appeal of trends, and seeks to understaud what it is
that this phenomenon might teIl us about eontemporary ways of being in the world. Trend followers
are attentive to prevailing sentiments, they attune themselves to the opportunities of the present. In
post-modemism, situations are all that eount. The author argues that there is no indifferenee in such
an immanentism but, conversely, an abiding awareness, an attention to what is: the world, fellow
human beings, the social. (back)





16 (1)

Polygyny and the Rural Accumulation of Capital
Testing a Model Based on Continuing Research in Northern Nigeria Paul Clough

This paper tests the analysis of fieldwork in northern Nigeria between 1977 and
1985, by reference to more recent fieldwork in 1996 and 1998. Based on the evidence I argued that
change and continuity in the Hausa Muslim rural economy js best understood, not in terms of a
theory of capitalist agrarian transformation, but rather in terms of a long-term ‘pattern of complexpolygynous
accumulation’. This article assesses the nature of change between fieldwork in 1977-85
and fieldwork in 1996-98. It draws on a spectrum of case studies from small farmers to a newly
emergent category of VeryLarge Farmers. It argues that rural accumulation continues to be structured
by polygyny – understood as practice (the marriage by men of up to four wives), as obligation (the
moral value which enjoins household heads to expand not only the number of their own wives but
also that of all their sons), and as desire (the most valued goal of life for both men and women). It
shows how polygyny acts both as an incentive to capital accumulation and as a limit on it. Moreover,
polygyny, thus understood, operates to establish so many affinal ties between rural entrepreneurs and
between entrepreneurs and poorer households, that the Western notion of ‘competitive individuals’
is sharply modified by a local notion of persons as ‘kin’ or ‘potential kin’. This enables us to
draw comparisons between Schumpeter’s model of Western capitalist accumulation – based on
the monogamousfamily- and a model of ‘complex- polygynous’accumulationwhichis more
appropriate to the Hausa Muslim economy.(back)


Stepfamilies in Cultural Context
Problems in Middle-Class U.S. Stepfamilies
David Jacobson

Whatever else they may be, stepfamilies are a cultural problem. They are a cultural
problem because many of the difficulties entailed in stepfamily formation and functioning derive
not from the attributes of the persons involved but rather from socially defined beliefs, values, and
norms about marriage and divorce, about families and households, and about relationships within
and between households. Although diversity characterizes marital and domestic arrangements in the
United States, family researchers suggest that middle-class Americans ubscribe to a set of beliefs
that constitute what may be called the ‘standard model’ of families and households. In this model,
it is expected that marriage will be monogamous, that the family will be nuclear, neolocal, and
co-residential, and that the members of the family household are entitled to one another’s attention
and affection. The effort to create viable stepfamilies is constrained by these ideas and ideals (back)

Witchcraft as the Dark Side of Kinship
Dilemmas of Social Security in New Contexts
Peter Geschiere

One of the more disconcerting discoveries during my field-work among the Maka in
Southeast Cameroon was that my spokesmen (and -women) saw witchcraft (djambe) as given with
kinship (bjel). The most dangerous attacks come ‘from inside the house’ (djambe-le-ndjaw) and
witches are supposed to have a special hold over their relatives. The question for this article is how
this link between witchcraft and kinship is affected by the general increase of scale of relations. I
try to show, with the help of observations from subsequent fieldwork in Cameroon and examples
from recent literature on other parts of Africa, that under the modem changes kinship has to bridge
ever greater distances, both spatially and socially: the growing distance between villages and cities;
the growing inequalities between elites and their poorer relatives. Striking is that in these contexts
people are increasingly speculating about the possibility that witchcraft is reaching beyond the
limits of kinship. Kinship terminology has to bridge such distances that it seems to be stretched to
a breaking point. Is the general concern about witchcraft running wild related to this feeling that
kinship is under a heavy strain? (back)

Porodicne Slike: Family Photos
The Changing Role of Family Photography in Sarajevo
Lieve Willekens

This article gives an insight in a research based on the family photo collections of
people who survived the war in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Although war diminished and destroyed almost
every aspect of life before the conflict, people managed to save the visual relics of their personal
history.The family photos, often damaged in war, are highly appreciated and very popular in Sarajevo
nowadays. Influenced by horrifying experiences and dramatical changes in daily life, Sarajevans
interpret their old images. The pictures stir up memories of a family narrative that can only live on
by remembrance. This process influences their thoughts of the past and guides them through the
hardship of the present. (back)

Caste-based Differences and Contested Family Relations
Social linkages between India and Britain
Mario Rutten and Pravin J. Patei

This article discusses the social linkages between Indian migrants in Britain and their
family members in India. It is based on fieldwork conducted in 1998 among members ofthe Patidar
community in rural central Gujarat and among their relatives in London in 1999. Many of them
migrated to East Africa in the early part of the 20th century and from there to Britain in the 1960s
and 1970s. The Patidar community in London maintains frequent long-distance family linkages
with their home region in India. Marriage arrangements, kinship networks, frequent visits, property,
remittances and religious affiliations keep many of the Patidar migrants in London well-linked to
the villages in Gujarat. These linkages between India and Britain, however, are not static or without
problems. Indian migrants in London and their relatives in Gujarat often express different views on
the nature of their relationship and on the type of help rendered. (back)

Too Much Kinship?
Managing Social Relations in a Small Village in Sweden
Ann-Kristin Ekman

This article discusses social relations in a small rural village in Sweden. What initially
fascinated me about the village was the close-knit web of kinship, which connected the households.
At the same time kinship seemed insignificant in daily life and was, in fact, often hidden. The village
is in most aspects a rural place but the villagers also participate in a modem discourse about social
life. However, their daily relations take place in a social context much more dense and close than
most urban ones. Kinship is always present but the construction of kinship is complex and fluid and
the villagers have to manage their kinship-ties in many different local contexts. (back)

Families in Arms:
Kinship and the Military in Israeli Society
Erella Grassiani

These days, we are actors in a wide variety of computational landscapes – for example,
we put ourselves in the virtual spaces of simulation games and create representations of ourselves in
virtual communities on the Internet. Such involvements have complex ‘identity effects’. At the same
time that our ‘lives on the screen’ facilitate an increased fluidity of identity play, we are immersed
in simulations whose underlying mechanisms we do not understand and which may encourage us
to see the world in simpier rather than more complex terms. (back)





15 (1/2)

Our Split Screens

Sherry Turkle

These days, we are actors in a wide variety of computational landscapes – for example, we put ourselves in the virtual spaces of simulation games and create representations of ourselves in virtual communities on the Internet. Such involvements have complex ‘identity effects’. At the same time that our ‘lives on the screen’ facilitate an increased fluidity of identity play, we are immersed in simulations whose underlying mechanisms we do not understand and which may encourage us to see the world in simpler rather than more complex terms.


‘Haptic Screens’ and Our ‘Corporeal

Jojada Verrips

This essay is about what happens to ‘us’ when ‘seeing’ or ‘watching’ ‘real, fictive or virtual worlds’ on or through screens. A significant number of scholars, for example McLuhan, has already paid attention to this topic and tried to sketch the nature of the interaction between these ‘shining’ and ‘enlightening’ and human subjects. Usually screens are immediately associated with the eyes, with vision, with the supremacy of the visual. This, however, is a culturally biased, superficial and confined association, as not only McLuhan, but also a series of other scholars, film theorists and artists have attempted to demonstrate. The main goal of this article is to show that there is a lot more involved than sheer vision when watching screens or that is not only our eyes which are touched by what we seen on film, TV and PC screens, but our whole body. (back)

Cyberculture or Material Culture?
Computers and the Social Space of Work
Anna McCarthy

This essay offers a polemical exploration of spatiality in new media culture, one based on a materialist, as opposed to a ‘virtualist’ paradigm. lts goal is to intervene in the thought processes of liberal-phenomenological cybertheory. The latter tends to see computer users as consumers, rather than producers, within national and global economies. Because of this leisure-consumption orien­tation, theories of new media are easily appropriated within ideologies of postindustrial capitalism. This has led to some oversimplified models of spatiality in cybertheory, many of which proceed from the premise that the material world is fast disappearing under the pressures and seductions of the virtual. The article uses methods of visual anthropology to communicate the problems with such as­sumptions, and to demonstrate the benefits of materialist analysis.1t traces the techniques information and knowledge workers use in fashioning decorative office media displays, known in cyber jargon as ‘geekospheres’. These techniques situate the computer within the labour process, not only as a toy but also as a physical object through which people make statements about work and find ways to define and transgress boundaries between the personal and the institutional, between work and leisure.

Not Being There
Meg McLagan

The attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001 reshaped mediascapes around the world as people deployed and engaged with various media forms to communicate information and views about what had happened. Written from the (somewhat anguished) perspective of a New Yorker living abroad for a year, this essay analyzes the limitations of the mass mediation of 9/11. (back)

Displays and Displacements:
Some Thoughts on the Uses of Interactive Screens and How They Affect Mental Maps of Space and Self
Vincent A. de Rooij

Users/viewers of interactive screens hooked onto digital communication devices develop new notions of self and space. Future developments in wearable communication technology will produce cyborgs whose selves will become less and less autonomous and individual, and more and more transparent and permeable to other members of their social networks. (back)

The Internet as an Interface for Japanese Religious Life
Matjon Jekel

In Japan religious institutions increasingly offer a range of services on the Internet, including mizuko kuyö, a ritual to appease the souls of aborted children. This raises the question why people choose to conduct this ritual with a strong emotional impact through an impersonal medium like the Internet. This article will also deal with the paradox of the performance of apparently traditional rituals through the modem medium of Internet. (back)

The Confessional Ethic and the Spirits of the Screen.
Reflections on the Modern Fear of Alienation
Peter Pels

Modem confessions expect a moment of de-alienating authenticity, of revealing one’s true self. Yet, in distinguishing an imperfect, existing self from the mature ideal towards which it should grow, modem confession also divides the self, raising the question whether its main delineating presupposition – that there is such a thing as an authentic self – can be upheld. This essay aims to trace the career of this typically modem paradox. It argues that the combination of an undertow of modem occultism and the development of the ‘society of the spectacle’ through commodification and screen technology has increasingly shifted confession towards a multiplicity of spiritual ideals of self-reform. Thus, it undermines the individual autonomy on which humanist modernity based its fears of alienation. (back)

On Screens
Electronic Media and the Embodied Subject

Sudeep Dasgupta

The contemporary media culture is increasingly marked by the presence of, and our interaction with computer screens, The complexity of the technology of the Internet, and the concomitant consequences for theorising subjectivity have been receiving increasing attention in academic literature. Some arguments about the baneful effects of computer technology and users assert the dissolution of the subject, and its loss within the complexity of a technology-driven medium. The temporal and spatial dimensions of interaction with computers supposedly threatens the very notions of identity, belonging and community. In contradistinction to such assertions, this essay argues for a historically-specific analysis of the concrete interaction of computer users with the Internet. Through an analysis of the particular uses which the Internet is put to, and the social relations within which such use is embedded, the essay explores the complex ways in which questions of identity are mediated by the ‘screen culture’ of the Internet. By steering away from a rigid technological determinism, the argument highlights a dialectical interplay between a contingent and situated subject and the growing presence of screens that refract our sense of the everyday. (back)

Insanity as Looking Glass
Alexandra Schüssler

Considering the immense popularity the Artists from Gugging, all of whom are long-term patients of a mental institute near Vienna , have achieved, the question arises of what people see in psychotics’ imagery. In my essay I deal with paintings and drawings as projection screens for the spectator. I present a selection of works from Gugging and the spectators’ verbal renderings of mental images that arise when contemplating these paintings and drawings. Instead as a part of the paintings and drawings I suggest viewing the screen that bears the mental images as a large and divers, but ultimately finite cultural image-repertoire, which inhabits the spectator. Referential co-ordinates for a phenomenon like insanity are hardly defined on our culture specific screens. Therefore, we are free to frame the imagery according to our desires and fears and the screen becomes a consummate surface for idiosyncratic projections. (back)

Eye Contact.
Fine Moving Hands and the Flesh and Blood of Image Fabrication in the Operating Theatres of Interventional Radiology
Christina Lammer

In my essay I analyze radiological practices of how the blood flow is being rendered visible and treated. For this I use material of my ethnographic research, which I conducted in the operating theatres of interventional radiology. I will argue that continual inventions of new technologies in this particular area lead necessarily to a decomposing of how the body’s inside is imagined and experienced on the side of patients and clinical personnel. (back)

Re-enchanted Enchantment
Watching Movies in the Movies

Rachel O. Moore

Mimicking reifying structures of modern of life, television, for Adorno could be nothing other than ‘disenchanted enchantment’. Following Benjamin’s impulse to create dialectical images, this paper argues that the reuse of television and film screens within films is, at times, a form of re-enchantment. Calling on technology’s magical transformative power, these scenes have powerful effects both within the digenesis of the films and for the spectator who watches the screen within the screen. They do so, I argue, not so much because of their narrative utility, but because they highlight cinema at its most technological. The visceral quality of these moments is one of the compelling reasons to begin to think that cinema has an important affinity with magical practices. (back)

Real and Imagined Audiences:
and the Hindi Film after the 1990s

Rachel Dwyer

The Hindi film of the 1990s marked the dominance of the musical romance: a heightened folly of glamour and consumption, where ‘Indian values’ were tested across the transnational Indian family. However, two of 2001’s biggest hits were not romances but historical films about subalterns, which few expected to find audiences. Indian film producers frequently talk about adjusting their films for box office success, adding elements intended to please their audiences, imagined without audience ethnography and extensive market research. This paper focuses on Lagaan, which seemed to break with all norms of an imagined audience, yet was a great hit in India and overseas, acc1aimed critically in India and nominated for an ‘Oscar’ in 2002. It looks at how the film was produced, its marketing and its reception, raising issues of the relationship between the producers and the audiences in India , the diaspora and the west, in the context of genre. (back)

Television and Its Viewers in Post-Feminist Dialogue.
Internet-mediated Response to Ally McBeal and Sex and the City
Joke Hermes

Cultural studies has put forward the view that television publics are active rather than passive. The television screen can never dictate identity construction even if surely it plays a role in who we feel we are. Internet response to television is used in this article to reconstruct how post-feminist television series such as Ally McBeal and Sex and the City have meaning for audiences and how identity construction is involved in the pleasures and meanings of these series. Entries (called ‘posts’) at an Internet site called wwwjumptheshark.com are analysed. Recurring themes (realism, gender and television) all involved constructions of gender identity and sexuality. This new television genre can be said then to contribute to ongoing dialogue rather than dictate new identities. (back)

Occult Forces on Screen:
Representation and the Danger of Mimesis in Popular Ghanaian Films
Birgit Meyer

This essay focuses on the popular video-film industry in Ghana . Thriving at a time when the state is no longer able to control what is shown on public screens, Ghanaian popular cinema violates expectations of intellectuals and state officials as to what African cinema should be about. It is argued that this industry does not develop in a separate sphere of art, but deliberately locates itself in the midst of everyday life and is entangled with the Pentecostal-charismatic movement, which is extremely popular in Southern Ghana . Posing as revelations, films claim to show on screen how otherwise spiritual forces operate to mess up people’s Jives. At the same time, the work of representation is found to be tricky on the part of actors who fear the forces they set out to depict. (back)

Accra ‘s Charismatic Screens
Marleen de Witte

In this essay I will look at and listen to a charismatic TV screen in Ghana , showing a sermon by the popular charismatic pastor Mensa Otabil in Accra . While watching the programme Living Wor1d I will address the relation between charisma and screens and examine the place of screens in the construction of charisma by looking not only at the screen but also behind the screen, in the editing studio, and in front of the screen, in the living room. (back)

Looking at Love.
Hollywood Romance and Shifting Notions of Gender and Relating in Nairobi
Rachel Spronk

The popularity of Hollywood movies among young professionals in Nairobi is in correspondence with social developments related to ‘the emergence of the intimate’ and changing perceptions of love and sexual relating. This essay deals with the emerging middle class discourse on love. Notions of love are actively discussed, tried and reflected upon. Within this context Hollywood movies provide an alternative frame of reference for young women and men. (back)

On Charisma, Mediation and Broken Screens
Ze d’Abreu

This article examines the main processes involved in redefining the concept of religious mediation by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. It specifically focuses on changing perceptions of sanctity and traditional forms of representation of saints. In order to do so it considers the postulate of a new spirituality in the Church, which stresses the downpour of charismatic gifts from the moment one goes through the experience of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. At the same time that the Charismatic Renewal started using mass media, the idea of a direct and unmediated channel of spiritual communication became a fundamental part of its message. But while the media channelled the pursuits of grace and Charisma, it also jeopardized the idea of unmediated inspiration. The popularity of the Movement gradually re-entrenches the conception of a hierarchical distancing between humans and God, as Charismatics turn out to substitute the role saints have traditionally played in Popular Catholicism. In order for Charismatics to continue shaping their image in the ‘likeness of Jesus’, they need to recall the values of pride as well as saintly humility. This means a withdrawal from the world of fame to safeguard the boundaries of religiosity threatened by media popularity. (back)

Big Brother Brasil and the Evangelical Response
Martijn Oosterbaan

This article describes the ambivalent reception of the reality soap Big Brother Brasil among evangelicals in a favela in Rio de Janeiro . Big Brother Brasil can be united with a Protestant – Pentecostal ethic because the possibility to morally judge the players is built into the format of the game show. Yet evangelicals also fear they might be tempted by these images, disobey the will of God and loose their connection with the Holy Ghost. (back)





14 (2)

Ferdinand de Jong

In his article, Ferdinand de long describes and analyses the Kankurang masquerade,
which is the ultimate secret of the Mandinko initiation in South Senegal. Yet, there are
many examples of violent confrontations between the Kankurang mask’s guardians and individuals who presumably violate or desecrate the mask. The author examines how the
secret of the mask was threatened by exposure, the concomitant concerted efforts on the
part of a committee of male elders to restore the secret and its attempts to make the mask
performance compatible with the state monopoly on the use of violence. In the process,
the subversive Kankurang masquerade was objectified into a respectable ‘tradition’. This
objectification of culture was not a mere attempt at folklorisation, but had far-reaching
political implications. (back)


Islam and lts Others
Sakaraboutou as ‘Masquerade’ in Bondoukou (Cóte d’Ivoire)
Karel Arnaut

Karel Amaut states that performances that involve impersonation and disguise have
often been analyzed using a ‘secret society model’ that was devised in masquerade studies
in order to unveil the knowledge-divide between ‘cunning producers’ and ‘credulous
audience’. Taking its lead from studies of performance (a) that seek to disentangle
the hegemonic dynamics between participant groups, and (b) that focus on mimesis,
transformation and empowerment, the author sets out to explore the transgressive potential
of Sakaraboutou, an annual Muslim public manifestation at Bondoukou. The article
introduces a number of analytical instruments for getting to grips with the different
and shifting participant positions and mocking enterprises/experiences of the participants.
Rather than advocating a novel approach, the author argues for a more fine-grained
examination of processes of impersonation, and against reductive and exoticizing models
for studying masquerading in Africa.(back)

Masked Enemies
Resistance and Protest in a Sherpa Community
Yolanda van Ede

In her paper, VanEde describes the introduction of a religious festival, called Narak, in
the late 1920sin a Sherpa community in Nepal as a eans of protest against a state-enforced
ritual, Dasain, that was to rub in aste legislation and tax reforms. In order to enhance
communication of the Sherpa protest to the different ethnic groups and castes nhabiting
the same valley,a mask dance was added to the existing liturgical ritual. In this performance
the moral politics of the ‘other’, that is the Nepali state personified particularly by a highcaste
family in this face-to-face society, of stigmatizing and degrading non-Hindu peoples
were countered by Buddhist notions of generosity and compassion. The whole festival
was meant to enhance Sherpa solidarity and kindle insurrections, but did not succeed to
trespass its ritual boundaries. Nevertheless, Narak has grown into the main event of this
Sherpa community and the masked personae still denounce Nepali politics in a serio-comic

The Carnavalizing of Race
Rachel Sussman

In her article, Rachel Sussman focuses on the blackface minstrel shows that were very
popular in America from around 1840 till 1860, in which white performers played black
slaves. Under their blackface mask, the performers were able to criticize certain social and
political developments. The minstrel shows reveal the ambivalent relation of many white
Americans towards issues of slavery and the emancipation of black people and as such,
they set the precedent for the portrayal of stereotyped, radicalized characters on stage, that
still play such an important role in the American entertainment industry. (back)

A White and a Black Mask
The Religious Play of the Nö Theatre
Erika de Poorter

Erika de Poorter discusses the use of masks in Japan, more specifically in the traditional
Japanese theatre called No. She focuses on the oldest play, Okina, which is still regularly
performed. Through an analysis of the function and treatment of the masks, she seeks to
demonstrate its character as a religious play. (back)

Role-Playing Games als Postmoderne Cultuuruiting
Marjolein Hennevanger

Marjolein Hennevanger calls our attention to practices of virtual masking in role-playing
games in the Netherlands. In such games, there are no costumes, no masks and no audience;
the masquerade only occurs in the imagination of its participants and is evoked by words.
Players, who meet in the evening or during the weekend and are guided by a game master,
create virtual characters that interact with each other and indulge in imaginary adventures.
Pointing out that fantasy and virtuality are distinct features of this kind of interactive roleplaying
games, the author argues that these games link up with new views of personhood
in postmodem culture. (back)





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Themed Environments
Suburbs and the Middle Class in Bangkok
Timothy Simpson

In his contribution, Timothy Simpson seeks to document and analyze the emergence and popularity of ‘themed environments’ in Bangkok and their role in Thai middleclass and suburban lifestyles. Thailand ‘s themed environments, such as restaurants, shopping malls, and historic parks, draw on symbolism derived from both contemporary popular culture and Thai history and folklore, and play a role in the construction of a middleclass lifestyle. Bangkok ‘s urbanization and concomitant industrial and economic development has transformed the physical geography and cultural landscape of Bangkok , contributing to its sub-urban sprawl and to the emergence of two types of complementary cultural spaces: ‘nonplaces’ and ‘themed environments’. Nonplaces are characterized by an emptying out of symbolic content to create largely functional and ‘hypersignificant’ environments, which isolate people from one another even when they share a common social space. The ’emptiness’ of such nonplaces is compensated for by the excessive, or ‘hypersignificant’, symbolic construction of themed environments. Such environments provide common public spaces and a context for public life. The author analyzes the symbolic construction of themed environments and their role in daily Thai middle-class life. Focusing on particular examples of themed restaurants and historic parks and amusements he details how both loc al and global thematic content is constructed symbolically. Such consumption behaviour contributes to the formation of middle-class identity and creation of social differentiation. (back)


Defending the Suburban Dream
Gated Communities in Calabasas, Califomia
Joost Zonneveld

In his article ‘Defending the Suburban Dream’, Joost Zonneveld argues that the inhabitants of so-called ‘gated communities’ are trying to recreate the safe world of an imagined suburbia. One way or the other, all the community members have experienced that the dream of a suburban life – a dream of safety, calmness, social cohesion and neighbourliness in an open space where subtle readings of boundaries could be assumed ­did not materialize in the older suburbs of Los Angeles. Consequently they fenced themselves in, hoping to be able to shut out the chaos and threat of the ever-expanding city. Zonneveld shows that the suburban dream can only be pursued under a rigid regime of guards, video-circuits, strict rules and regulations, and overall control. (back)

Strange Distance
Reading Walden in Suburbia
Jenny Cool

As an ethnographic filmmaker, Jenny Cool set out as to examine ‘the gaps’ between the vision of life in a ‘new home community’ marketed by housing developers and that bought and lived by the residents of Antelope Valley, a suburb 50 miles north of Los Angeles, California. When she showed footage to peers, they assessed it in terms of her informants’ ‘bad taste’, ‘tackiness’ and ‘lack of style’. Almost everyone she knew was an ‘expert’ on the processes at work among these suburban home buyers and could pronounce this judgment automatically. Because of this reaction, her locus of interest shifted to the perceptions that ‘intellectuals’ had of her informants. These groups seemed to be at a strange distance from one another: the Valley folk were far enough away to be seen as ‘other’, yet close enough to be ‘analyzed’ at a glance. She came to realize that her first interpretation (the stale, automatic one more or less shared by her peers) and the life­styles of the Antelope Valley are but two sides of the same coin: separation, automatic borders, strange distance. She meditates on what Henry Thoreau’s Walden has to offer the anthropological enterprise, specifically, on what it has to teach about studying people we recognize as distinct from ourselves, yet bound with us. (back)

The Indian Middle Class and Residential Space
The Suburb as the Abode of the ‘Educated’
Margit van Wessel

Margit van Wessel unpacks the reasons of the attraction suburban housing estates have for the middle classes in Baroda ( India ). She shows how access to higher education and life in suburbia – or, in society – are regarded as mutually constitutive and serve as a means of distinction from less educated people living in rural areas and the city. Far from being perceived as boring and uniform, suburbia plays a key role in expressing middle class identity. At the same time, the essay shows, suburban residents realize that the price they have to pay for their distinct identity in terms of superiority and progress is the loss of communality and conviviality on the level of the neighbourhood, a loss underpinned by a nostalgic idealization of the village. (back)

The New Land

Suburb and City in One
Leon Deben

The Dutch new town of Almere is the setting of a research project on social cohesion in which nine sociology students from the University of Amsterdam participated. Leon Deben, one of the supervisors of the project, reports on some of its major outcomes. In the Netherlands , Almere is subject to a host of stereotypical images related to its suburban character. Yet, its residents consider it a Suburban Dream and are extremely content with their housing and living conditions. Almerians stand aloof from the discussions about their place of residence. They appreciate, amongst many other things, the green environment, the smallness of scale of the neighbourhoods, the social control and the relatively spacious and affordable homes. The author distinguishes various types of ties Almerians have with their hometown and links them with stages in their life cycle. Almere, planned from the very beginning of its construction in 1976, would seem to be on its way to become a ‘real’ city, though many ‘experts’ strongly deny that this is the case. (back)

Dreams of Leaving . . .
Suburbia in Cairo
Anouk de Koning

In her brief imaginative essay, Anouk de Koning describes how many lower middleclass Cairenes dream of an escape of the old city’s poverty, dirt and overcrowding. A dream, however, they seem to reserve for their children to come true, for whom they bought an apartment in New Cairo. In the meantime, the suburb is situated somewhat forlorn in the desert, a ghost town awaiting its future inhabitants to grow up and to come to life.(back)