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Taťána Součková

Abstract

The paper is based on the conclusions of ethnological research of Ukrainian minority carried out by the author on the territory of Slovakia between 2014 and 2016. Its main objective was the reflection of ethnic stereotypes of the Ukrainian minority towards the Slovak majority. An unavoidable element in research on stereotyping and reflection of “national character” was also an analysis of ethnic identity of the members of the minority group. How do they perceive themselves, what does it personally mean to them to be a Ukrainian and what practically fulfills an abstract category of “being Ukrainian”. The author briefly summarizes key theoretical objectives of the concept of ethnic identity and then analyses its reflection within the Ukrainians in Slovakia with regard to its main characteristics. Ukrainian autostereotypisation in the broader context of Ukrainian-Russian relatioship is also examined.

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Marian Viorel Anăstăsoaie

Abstract

This paper addresses one of the first translations of a US anthropological monograph into Romanian. Its author, John V. Murra (1916–2006), born into a Russian-Jewish family in Odessa, grew up in Romania, where he studied and became involved in the Communist movement before his departure for Chicago in 1934. His 1956 PhD thesis in anthropology at University of Chicago on the Inka state was a first step towards turning Murra into an influential figure in the field of Andean anthropology. His sister Ata Iosifescu lived in Romania and translated his PhD thesis into Romanian, published in 1987 as Civilizaţie inca: organizarea economică a statului incaş(Inka Civilization: the Economic Organization of the Inka State). Based on their correspondence kept at the National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC), I propose to reconstruct this translation’s story: the context, the constraints and the process of translation itself. I am also addressing the question of the book’s reception in Romania.

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Steven G. Randall

Abstract

This discussion looks back at socialist Romania and the collapse of the Ceauşescu regime. It suggests that Romania, like all states, socialist, social-democratic and neoliberal are confronted by the same world systemic capitalism and that all states use a mixture of policies involving both capitalist and socialist, democratic and authoritarian features in the attempt to avoid the hazards and to gain the advantages of a global system dominated by capitalist accumulation. Using a diversity of assets and hampered by limitations inherited historically, some will fail and some will succeed as state projects. Cold War era analysis will not be useful as a way to evaluate or predict winners or losers. Likewise, the failure of Communist Romania as a state system could not have been predicted either by its authoritarian or by its socialist policy features.

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Samuel Adu-Gyamfi, Razak Mohammed Gyasi, Richard oware and Godwin Adu-Agyeman

Abstract

Based on a qualitative design and a qualitative analysis of responses from primary informants and secondary sources we present a narrative on the attitudes and perception of the Ghanaian on skin bleaching. Based on retrospective and thematic analyses the authors conclude that there is the need for education and enforcement of laws that protect the consumer from patronizing cosmetics that bleach the skin. The study further highlights the role of institutions that are responsible for legislating, regulating, preventing and educating the general public. It is envisaged that this article shall reinvigorate the need for further research and discourses on skin bleaching in Africa and Ghana in particular. Policy makers and policy implementers should be spurred on to make a difference.

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Fabian Saner

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Sam Beck

Abstract

This is a biographical account of my work in Romania and the influence it had on my research that followed. I focus on the impact that my almost five years in Romania had on the framework and orientation of my anthropological practice that I employed in the United States. I suggest that anthropologists have a moral imperative we must carry out when we choose to conduct research among the most vulnerable in society. In doing so, we must also come to understand the conditions that have made them vulnerable in the first place (Nader 1969). I assert here that as anthropologists of the twenty-first century we no longer may stay on the sidelines, but we must engage our work as allies with the vulnerable, supporting them in their self-identified struggles for dignity, liberation, and sustainability as part of a unified global effort. This entails the transformation of participant observation into a participatory research approach.

Open access

Pawel Sendyka

Abstract

The Górale of the Polish highlands are seen as a people apart from the rest of Poles. They are afforded this special status through the romanticisation as Poland’s very own “noble savages” by the writers and travellers of the 19th century. This was the time of Poland’s search for nationhood (when its territory was occupied by Russia, Prussia and Austria). The Górale have always been described, even in those early accounts, as pastoralists.

During the season, when the sheep went up to the alpine pastures, the villages were almost deserted. In the 20th century the pastoral system dissolution took place starting with the establishment of national parks after the Second World War. Further unfavourable developments decimated what was left of it since the late 1980s. As a result of the dissolution of the pastoral system the Górale chose to amplify their internal unity by strengthening the ethnic identity. The revival of pastoralism as it currently presents itself today, may be seen as yet another rallying call around Górale identity. It is a come back to the pastoralist “core” of the highland culture, while changing and re-inventing the tradition to suit new economic, social and political circumstances.

In the Polish pastoralist tradition there have always been two seminal community events which bracketed the winter season. There was the autumn event of “Redyk Jesienny” when the sheep brought back from the summer alpine pastures were given back to their owners and there was also a spring event of “Mieszanie Owiec” which literally means the Mixing of Sheep. Historically, they were very important events of the pastoral calendar, while the pastoral system itself has been crucial fixture and backbone of the social system of the Górale people. The paper examines how these traditions changed from old ethnographic descriptions and how they are being re-invented in the context of reaffirming the Górale identity today.

Open access

Eva Toulouze

Abstract

Yuri Vella (1948-2013) was a well-known personality in Western Siberia’s indigenous world. Unlike most Western Siberia indigenous inhabitants, Yuri Vella was exceptionally skilled with words. He used words in everyday life in order to achieve his goals, among which the main one was to protect his kin and neighbours in the forest from the destructions induced by the oil industry. He was able to hold his own in discussion with the oil industry representatives and to have the last word with them. But how did Yuri Vella use words in private life? That is what months of fieldwork sharing the hut he lived in with his wife allowed me to ascertain. I shall concentrate on patterns of speaking - how? with whom? - and silence in everyday life, outside the attention of an audience. Or was my presence in the hut enough of an audience to change his patterns? These reflections are what this article is about.