Nederland houdt van gewoon

Door Irene Stengs. In het kader van ‘onderzoek om de hoek’ kom ik nog een keer terug op mijn veldwerkexcursie naar de Huishoudbeurs van afgelopen februari. In mijn vorige blog omschreef ik deze ‘grootste braderie van Nederland’ als een voor de antropoloog interessante event omdat de beurs in feite een geconcentreerde uitstalling is van allerlei vormen van alledaagse cultuur in Nederland. Veel zaken die in het dagelijks leven een rol spelen en juist door hun alledaagsheid nauwelijks opvallen worden op de Huishoudbeurs ‘uitvergroot, uitgelicht en op een voetstuk geplaatst’. Voor de meeste bezoekers spreekt de invulling en inrichting van de …

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Human rights: Why debating their universality is unhelpful

By Koen Donatz  Human rights have become a hotly debated topic in both the academic and the political world, one of the main points of contention being whether they are universal or not. As Eva Brems has shown, feminists and cultural relativists are among the staunchest opponents of the claimed universality of human rights, criticizing its male bias and Western bias respectively. Thus, many debates discuss the universality of human rights at what Jack Donnelly calls the historical or anthropological level, examining its historical roots. However, most of such debates (and debates with different approaches, for that matter) ignore the …

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Seeing like a miner: The joys and menaces of informal gold extraction in Chocó, Colombia

by Jesse Jonkman ‘Let’s not fool ourselves, the Colombian state always tries to shut the door to the poor man in order to lead him to war.’ Manuel* spits out the words while he is contemplating the tranquil flow of the Bebará river that passes alongside his natal village La Villa. His criticism is directed at the government administration of President Santos and its eagerness to combat ‘illegal’ mining. ‘The state made up that mining is illegal. I understand that cocaine is illegal. It’s something that inflicts harm upon a lot of people. But a metal that comes from the …

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Being a (feminist) killjoy – he or me?

TRIGGER WARNING: This article, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors. Girl I want to make you sweat Sweat till you can’t sweat no more And if you cry I’m gonna push it, push it, push it some more Alalalalalong Bob Marley, Looking In Your Big Brown Eyes Today a friend of mine sent me a Facebook link with an audio fragment of radio 538, a popular Dutch radio channel (2018, test je vriend, Radio 538). The reactions below were filled with hysterical exhilaration – emoticons that tear up …

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De Huishoudbeurs: de grootste braderie van Nederland

door Irene Stengs Als antropologisch onderzoeker van ‘cultuur in Nederland’ doe ik in feite al mijn onderzoek ‘om de hoek’, en dit is helemaal het geval bij onderzoek in Amsterdam, mijn woonplaats. Zo ondernam ik laatst na jaren weer eens een bescheiden veldwerkexpeditie naar de Huishoudbeurs, een fenomeen dat aansluit bij mijn bredere interesse in braderieën. Iedereen weet natuurlijk wat een braderie is, maar er zijn denk ik maar weinigen die zich realiseren hoezeer Nederland een land van braderieën is. In provincies als Drenthe, Gelderland, Zeeland en Overijssel – daar waar veel Nederlanders op vakantie gaan – worden elk jaar …

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The (in)correctness of political correctness

by Ton Salman I’ve just finished reading “The Golden House” by Salman Rushdie. I enjoyed it: it is amusing, irritating, timely, biting and a delight to read. Of course, I am biased; he has been one of my favorite novelists for years. And he is one of the authors that in audacious ways often addresses the clashes between cultures, religions, ideologies that characterize our current globalizing, fidgety and agitated world, in provocative, foolhardy and sometimes pestering bravado. His novels, in my view, are must-reads for anthropologists. In “The Golden House” he demonstrates his skill again. The novel plays in the …

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Unpicking an (A)moral Anthropological Stance: Ongoing Violence in Myanmar

Introduction by Maaike Matelski In June 2015 the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology organized a seminar on account of the increasing number of Rohingya refugees in South East Asia. Since 2016 and in particular since August 2017 the violence against Rohingya in Myanmar has intensified. More and more horrific stories about murder and torture have come out, and more than 600.000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh. As the most prominent representative of the Myanmar government, Aung San Suu Kyi receives fierce criticism, because she does not speak out against these criminal acts. In the meantime the Myanmar government even has …

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Online Open Research – A collaborative approach

By Matthias Teeuwen  –   Some time ago I wrote a blog about the possibilities emerging technologies offer to the practice of qualitative research. Back then, I wrote that ‘it seems that emerging technologies constitute a quantitative change in the way ethnographic research is done, and not so much a qualitative change’. Paolo Favero spoke of emerging technologies as leading to thin description. That is, they enable ethnographers to expand the scope rather than the depth of their research. Think about how smartphones, wearable cameras, and the internet can help researchers during fieldwork to gather larger amounts of observations, stories and …

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