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Ethnicity, Commodity, In/Corporation
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Ethnicity, Commodity, In/Corporation (Paperback)

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Synopsis

In the economics of everyday life, even ethnicity has become a potential resource to be tapped, generating new sources of profit and power, new ways of being social, and new visions of the future. Throughout Africa, ethnic corporations have been repurposed to do business in mining or tourism; in the USA, Native American groupings have expanded their involvement in gaming, design, and other industries; and all over the world, the commodification of culture has sown itself deeply into the domains of everything from medicine to fashion. Ethnic groups increasingly seek empowerment by formally incorporating themselves, by deploying their sovereign status for material ends, and by copyrighting their cultural practices as intellectual property. Building on ethnographic case studies from Kenya, Nepal, Peru, Russia, and many other countries, this collection poses the question: Does the turn to the incorporation and commodification of ethnicity really herald a new historical moment in the global politics of identity?

Tatiana Chudakova is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Tufts University Jean Comaroff is the Alfred North Whitehead Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology and Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies at Harvard University. She is Honorary Professor of Anthropology at the University of Cape Town. She is co-author of Theory from the South: Or, How Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa, The Truth About Crime: Sovereignty, Knowledge, Social Order, and The Politics of Custom: Chiefship, Capital, and the State in Contemporary Africa. John L. Comaroff is the Hugh K. Foster Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology and Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies at Harvard University. He is Honorary Professor of Anthropology at the University of Cape Town and Affiliated Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation. He is co-author of Theory from the South: Or, How Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa, The Truth About Crime: Sovereignty, Knowledge, Social Order, and The Politics of Custom: Chiefship, Capital, and the State in Contemporary Africa. Susan E. Cook is Project Manager for Cultural Initiatives in the Division of Social Science at Harvard University. Eve Darian-Smith is Professor of Anthropology, Law, and Criminology, Law and Society, and Chair of the Department of Global and International Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She is author of Bridging Divides: The Channel Tunnel and English Legal Identity in the New Europe, Laws and Societies in Global Contexts: Contemporary Approaches, and The Global Turn: Theories, Research Designs, and Methods for Global Studies. Eric Hirsch is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Franklin & Marshall College. Simon May is Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Bowdoin College. George Paul Meiu is the John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Anthropology and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. He is author of Ethno-erotic Economies: Sexuality, Money, and Belonging in Kenya . Dorothea E. Schulz is Professor of Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Munster, Germany. She is author of Perpetuating the Politics of Praise: Jeli Singers, Radios, and Political Mediation in Mali, Culture and Customs of Mali, and Muslims and New Media in West Africa: Pathways to God (IUP, 2011). Sara Shneiderman is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, and the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia. She is author of Rituals of Ethnicity: Thangmi Identities Between Nepal and India.

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