Coal for power, iron ore for steel girders, minerals for our smart phones: the mining business is booming. More and more anthropologists are uncovering effects of this development that would otherwise risk falling under the radar.
Why has Iceland, a country that is famous for its abundant renewable energy, started to engage in oil exploitation? Other countries are moving away from fossil fuels. Why is this volcanic island choosing the opposite path and will it be worth it, master student Pernille Ihme wonders, currently on fieldwork in northeastern Iceland.
News about sinking boats carrying African migrants as they attempt to reach Europe is shaking the public. Similar dramas are unfolding regularly in Melilla, where Gard Ringen Høibjerg is currently on fieldwork.
Economic crises can lead to a rise in xenophobia. But the opposite can also be true. At the next Overheating seminar, anthropologist Theodoros Rakopoulos will talk about the thriving solidarity economy in Greece.
Instead of reviewing laws and policies in their offices, bureaucrats tour the country, hold public meetings and communicate with citizens via social media. An initiative in Tanzania can serve as example for other countries wishing to revive local democracy and expand their political and legal repertoire, believes anthropologist Knut Christian Myhre, who is currently writing a book on the topic.
Would you like to influence policies on climate change, oil drilling, war, and peace? More and more corporations and foreign governments are convinced that creating a think tank is the way to go. But the power of think tanks is more fragile than is generally assumed, as anthropologist Christina Garsten learned during her fieldwork.
"Who pays for your research? Who benefits from a particular version of reality? These questions should be raised time and again to get a better vantage-point for acting upon an overheated world,” says Thomas Hylland Eriksen after having studied an environmental scandal in Australia.
Zdenka Sokolíčková Ph.D. M.A. from the Czech Republic will be on a research stay at the Department of Social Anthropology, from 23 February – 8 March 2015.
How does global capitalism influence our relations with other people and our perceptions of who we are? How do people cope with rapid changes in their surroundings? Which roles can researchers play in times of change and conflict?
A Superman cartoon was able to bring some movement to the polarized immigration debate. What can social scientists learn from this?
When Jacky was deported from the USA to Cape Verde, his life came to a sudden standstill. Within a short time his face grew deep wrinkles; it looked resigned, exhausted, and drained. Merely at his age of 45, Jacky looked like an old man.
When the first Pride Parade in Montenegro’s capital turned into a battlefield, early ethnographic accounts about traditional manliness may have had a part to play in the tensions, according to anthropologist Branko Banovic.
In October 2011, while I was conducting ethnographic research on water and climate change in southern Peru’s Colca Valley, I was invited to join the villagers of Pinchollo on a hike up to the point at the foot of a glacier where meltwater starts flowing down towards the village.
Is the recent rise in xenophobia and right-wing populism in Europe linked to the economic crisis? Anthropologist Cathrine Moe Thorleifsson is about to embark on fieldwork in England, Hungary and Norway in order to find out.
“Anthropologists tend to exaggerate differences and to downplay commonalities. It is our moral duty to correct this distorted picture,” said Jeremy MacClancy at the first international workshop of the Overheating project.
The recent Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea has spurred a range of responses from all over the world. Some of these responses exemplify the ongoing stereotyping of Africa and Africans. Public discourse, unfortunately, still has the tendency of addressing Africa as a country, a war ridden space full of sadness and its inhabitants as savage and helpless. But stereotypes are not limited to these images of misery.
The majority of Norwegian food production no longer takes place in the field or in the barn.
Following the life of the worlds' simplest shoe provides encounters with the biggest migration streams in history, flip-flop smugglers in fast cars or on camels, and anxious company owners who don't want researchers nosing around.
Economic theories are not enough to understand economic processes. At the next Overheating seminar, Nina Boy will show that literary studies can provide important insights into the world of finance.
Learn from Caribbeans and see the world as many small interconnected islands that can only exist as a whole, says Kristian Van Haesendonck, who will speak at the next Overheating-seminar.
40 years ago it was an insignificant fishing village, now Macaé is Brazil’s bustling oil capital. While the oil rush is widely celebrated, both the favelas of the poor and the gated communities of the rich are growing, says Caroline Inglingstad.
Even deep in the Amazon jungle people feel the consequences of global economic policies. In Peru, Margrethe Steinert is studying how the Asháninka indigenous people deal with mining companies, migrants and the neoliberal state.
– To achieve a more equitable world, we need to better understand how power works. It’s a pity that only few anthropologists study up, says Tijo Salverda, who will speak at the next Overheating seminar about globally operating investors such as the Norwegian Pension Fund and Coca Cola.
When mining sites, shipyards and power plants are built in their neighborhoods, many locals feel they have no say in it. – When big money is involved, politics tends to become less democratic. The slogan is no longer ‘people first’, but ‘money first’, Thomas Hylland Eriksen said at the largest gathering of anthropologists in Europe.