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Modelling, ethnography and the challenge of the anthropocene

theoretically what this transformation in knowledge might actually look like. Paul Kockelman for example has looked at the ordering principles of spam filters, analysing the algorithmic methods by which such filters work (Kockelman 2013). Characterising spam filters as a specific kind of ‘sieve’, Kockelman situates what might otherwise be seen as an arcane technical practice within a culturally comparative framework that normalises and socialises technical principles that are often treated as outside the domain of ethnographic research. Nick Seaver’s work on music

in Ethnography for a data-saturated world

her income over the past 2 decades, Īrisa had worked a second shift as a cleaner at a local music school, sold food supplements for a direct marketing firm and made a short-lived attempt at running her own small business offering healthy lifestyle classes. Her life’s motto is, ‘you’ve just got to keep digging!’ (Vajag tik rakt!), a line from a song from the 1980s performed by famous Latvian actor and satirist Edgars Liepiņš. When she was made redundant in 2007, Īrisa was out of work for the first time in her life. After finding a job as a housekeeper at a

in Politics of waiting
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Ethnography for a data-saturated world

& Society has done much to generate a social response to big data issues but this is one of very few places where ethnographic accounts of big data as a field of practice exist at all. In part this is no doubt due to the time that it takes for ethnographies to work their way through the publishing system. There are some important studies in the pipeline such as Nick Seaver’s (2015) doctoral study on music recommendation analysts and Asta Vonderau’s current research project on cloud computing, but at the date of writing these are yet to be published. Meanwhile other data

in Ethnography for a data-saturated world
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Selling the Barefoot College

of reality that re-configures social relations between people, objects and materials. Debord developed his ideas in tandem with other scholars of the time, most notably those associated with the Frankfurt School, who coined the term ‘culture industry’ to denote the industrialisation of mass-produced culture (music, television, radio, etc.) and its role in the reification of capitalist society. During this stage, subjects of the spectacle were conceived of as passive spectators who watched and consumed rather than actively participated. Today, however, with the

in An ethnography of NGO practice in India
The violent pursuit of cultural sovereignty during authoritarian rule in Argentina

is essential in this war. Because they want to capture man in body and mind. The struggle of ideas is therefore fundamental in this war’ (La Nación, 29 October 1977). The military’s dual use of bio- and necropower is manifested in the daily practices of state repression. They tried to influence the minds of the Argentine people through a strict control over school and university curricula; the censorship of books, films and music; the fostering of religious faith – especially Roman Catholicism – and the inculcation of patriotism and respect for authority. Torture

in Governing the dead
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Negotiating sovereign claims in Oaxacan post-mortem repatriation

repatriation of human remains the same argument can be made with processes of death. As Jacinto had never mentioned anything about where he wanted to be buried, Norma took it for granted that his wish was to be buried in the village where he was born. Furthermore, since music had been a central part of Jacinto’s life, and because he had received his musical formation in the village, Norma thought that it was fitting that the village wind orchestra could in this way pay their final respects to him. Thus, similarly to the consul, Norma emphasises the special attachment to the

in Governing the dead
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cultural references are common in the Latvian public sphere and in private forms of sociality. Many watch TV channels broadcast from Moscow, while there is at the same time an increasing worry in the public sphere about the kind of grip that Russia is still – or yet again – exercising over Latvia in this way. The wide range of Russian swearwords that have become part of the local vernacular have only been partially replaced – or rather, perhaps complemented – by English equivalents (Latvian swearwords often seem to lack the punch). Films and music from the Soviet period

in Politics of waiting

that his previous shaykh did not think it was jinn and told him to go to a psychologist. ‘No, 100 per cent, you have jinn,’ says Abu Bilal, ‘but you might have a psychological problem too. Sometimes people who have jinn also get psychological problems. They think: “What's this, what's this?” But you are strong. You have many jinn, but we will get them out. You will be well again. Continue to pray.’ Abu Bilal asks if Feisal has images or music in his home. Feisal has already removed all this. Feisal says his wife has

in Descending with angels