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  • 1. Benediktsson, Karl
    Harvesting Development: The Construction of Fresh Food Markets in Papua New Guinea2002Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This book addresses the global–local tension evident in much work on development issues, through the example of fresh food markets in Papua New Guinea. A key feature is the author’s skilful and inventive interweaving of theoretical constructs with a detailed ethnography of marketing networks, at the rural village and the urban market-place, as well as in the ‘spaces in between’.

    The work shows the rural community not as an isolated universe, but as consisting of dynamic linkages and networks which extend way beyond the locality. At the same time, local actors with their own agendas and interpretations of the metanarrative of ‘development’ are shown to be crucially important for shaping the outcome of the market integration process.

    This book is of relevance to geographers, anthropologists, sociologists and economists dealing with development issues. It is also an important read for Oceanianists/Melanesianists as it tackles processes and problems, which few ethnographers, who have worked in Papua New Guinea, have made their central concern. It is suitable for courses in development studies, geography and human ecology, and Oceanic studies, at advanced undergraduate or postgraduate level. While it deals with complex theoretical issues, it is written in a clear and accessible language. This makes the book a worthwhile read also for those outside of academia, for instance in government or international agencies, who work with rural development issues and design and monitor development projects.

  • 2. Cornet, Candice
    et al.
    Blumenfield, Tami
    Doing Fieldwork in China ... with Kids!: The Dynamics of Accompanied Fieldwork in the People’s Republic2016Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    • Explores methodological issues related to accompanied fieldwork.• Points not just to pitfalls but also unexpected insights from having children present during the fieldwork process.

    While many anthropologists and other scholars relocate with their families in some way or another during fieldwork periods, this detail is often missing from their writings even though undoubtedly children can have had a major impact on their work. Recognizing that researcher-parents have many choices regarding their children’s presence during fieldwork, this volume explores the many issues of conducting fieldwork with children, generally, and with children in China, specifically. Contributors include well-established scholars who have undertaken fieldwork in China for decades as well as more junior researchers. The book presents the voices of mothers and of fathers, with two particularly innovative pieces that are written by parent–child pairs. The collection as a whole offers a wide range of experiences that question and reflect on methodological issues related to fieldwork, including objectivity, cultural relativism, relationships in the field and positionality. The chapters also recount how accompanied fieldwork can offer unexpected ethnographic insights. An appendix alerts future fieldworking parents to particular pitfalls of accompanied fieldwork and suggests ways to avoid these.

  • 3.
    Ilpala, Aleksi
    University of Helsinki.
    Six years without constitution: The dampened expectations for Nepalese democracy2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 39-44Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This article peers into the anxieties of the democratic process in post-conflict Nepal. Today, while the recent elections gave Nepal’s politicians a new mandate to finish the constitution-drafting process, the negotiations surrounding the troubled issue continue. Despite the established formal democratic institutions and procedures, authoritarian legacies and pre-democratic political practices, values and attitudes co-exist with the new democratic establishment with negative consequences for governmental stability. The article shows how the existing Nepalese political culture reflects a contradictory mix of deference to senior leaders, but also distrust of their authority, and a culture of confrontation rather than compromise.

  • 4.
    Lohenoja, Camilla
    University of Helsinki.
    From subordination to “own work”: Perceived life changes of former Haliya bonded labourers after their liberation2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 31-38Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The article discusses the perceived life changes of former Haliya bonded labourers in Nepal after their liberation. It concentrates on the subjective perceptions of the labourers, a field that has had little attention in literature to date. Nineteen semi-structured, in-depth interviews of former Haliyas, were conducted in a rural village in Baitadi, Far-Western Nepal in the summer of 2013. These were then analysed, using qualitative content analysis. The paper is constructed on the concept of social status, more precisely subordination, and it suggests that diminishing subordination, such as caste discrimination, dependency and forcing, is more important in former bonded labourers’ lives than the lack of improvement in material benefits. Therefore it can be argued that the literature on bonded labour stresses too much the quantitative data and the meaning of material conditions, and fails to see the importance of the personal experience and improved social status as the most important change in their lives. This suggests that it might be useful to examine the importance of social status when tackling inequality questions as well.

  • 5. Nygaard-Christensen, Maj
    et al.
    Angie, Bexley
    Fieldwork in Timor-Leste: Understanding Social Change through Practice2017 (ed. 1st)Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This ground-breaking exploration of research methodologies in Timor-Leste brings together ten authors (veterans and early-career researchers) who have contributed to founding the field of Timor studies and who broadly represent a range of fieldwork practices and challenges from colonial times to the present day. Here, they introduce readers to their experiences of conducting anthropological, historical and archival fieldwork in this new nation. The volume further explores how researchers might examine processes of ‘nation-making’ without taking particular claims about what constitutes Timorese national identity for granted. Many chapters thus deal with how preconceptions can be challenged when actually carrying out ethnographic or historical research. The volume thus reflects and highlights the contestations and deliberations that have been symptomatic of the country’s nation-building process.

  • 6.
    Visser, Jacco
    VU University Amsterdam.
    Rural-urban migration and redefining indigeneity in Dhaka, Bangladesh2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 53-58Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines how students from indigenous groups from the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Southeast Bangladesh who migrated to Dhaka navigate the city. It does so by investigating how students relate to discourses of modernity and urban lifestyles while not disregarding the importance of belonging to an indigenous group. This way challenging notions of being indigenous as related to a non-industrial mode of production and essentially rooted in rural areas. In addition, by revealing the ways in which these students redefine themselves as Bangladeshi, the dominant notion of a Bangladeshi as ethnic Bengali and Muslim are challenged since indigenous migrant students are neither ethnic Bengalis nor Muslims.

  • 7. Vorng, Sophorntavy
    A Meeting of Masks: Status, Power and Hierarchy in Bangkok2017 (ed. 1st)Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Beneath the protest marches, rallies and sieges dividing Thailand in recent times are more subtle pressures that emerge from everyday encounters involving cultural notions of rank and hierarchy. These are the focus of this highly accessible ethnographic study, which ventures beyond the barricades to explore the connections between inequality, space and social life in modern-day Bangkok.

    The author argues that the notion of an urban–rural divide obscures a far more complex reality linking city and countryside in reciprocal relations within both urban and national systems of status and class. Global market forces have increased the emphasis on material wealth in contemporary status relations and exacerbated pre-existing inequalities informed by a premodern system of status ranking called sakdina. This has compounded the challenges facing the growing urban middle classes and further marginalised rural and economically disadvantaged Thais.

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