Author Archives: guestanthropologist

Not That Innocent: fertility, vengeance and serpentine symbolism within pop music

By Mac Spencer In the summer of last year, globally scrutinised pop star Taylor Swift quietly deleted every piece of content from her online accounts. A brief social media blackout ensued, ultimately broken by a pan-platform teaser video showing an extreme closeup of a snake. Predictably, the video kicked off a cleverly manufactured frenzy amongst […]

From the Field: A drive through north western Afghanistan

by Magnus Marsden I am often asked what it is like to do fieldwork in Afghanistan. To give a sense of doing fieldwork in the country today, I provide an account of a two-day trip in the northwest of the country that I made in October 2017. The road connecting Mazar-e Sharif – northern Afghanistan’s […]

Review: Cultivating Development

by Esther Mulders David Mosse’s groundbreaking book, Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice (2005, Pluto Press), focuses on the complex link between policy and practice in development work. Starting with the question as to whether development practice is actually driven by policy, Mosse makes the reader rethink the relation between the two. Cultivating […]

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

…May ’68, Nuit Debout and Romanticizing Struggles by Jade Ascencio In 2016, the Nuit Debout movement in Paris installed its headquarters only two stops away from my place. Every night people gathered on the Place de la République, discussing all sorts of issues, making art, with the ultimate aim of launching France’s Sixth Republic. Feminist […]

From the Field: Persian New Year in Yiwu and Iranian Special Tea in Karachi

by Magnus Marsden One of my most memorable evenings while conducting fieldwork in Yiwu, China in 2016 fell on 20th March, the evening of Nowruz, Persian New Year. Having put my three-year-old son to bed and waited for my wife to return from her Chinese language classes it was often a part of my fieldwork […]

Fame, femininity, financial vitriol: a methodology of Kommercial success

by Mac Spencer We begin at one of this century’s most infamous ascents to celebrity status, which I assume needs little retelling. In 2007, a leaked sex tape of Kim Kardashian and her then-boyfriend catapulted Kardashian, an individual requiring no introduction, to near-instant fame. After initially attempting to sue media company Vivid Entertainment and block […]

Union revitalisation and women workers at the intersection of gender and class

by Hannah Loosley **A version of this post was published at ecnmy.org.** Women working in care, catering, cleaning, cashier and clerical jobs (the 5 Cs) have long been neglected in trade unions and politics. Their jobs are seen as ‘extras’ – helping other people be fed and cared for, so they can do their ‘proper’ […]