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  Subjects -> ANTHROPOLOGY (Total: 398 journals)
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Critique of Anthropology
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.912
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 37  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0308-275X - ISSN (Online) 1460-3721
Published by Sage Publications Homepage  [1175 journals]
  • Engineering the middle classes: State institutions and the aspirations of
           citizenship

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      Authors: Maxim Bolt, Jon Schubert
      Pages: 347 - 358
      Abstract: Critique of Anthropology, Volume 42, Issue 4, Page 347-358, December 2022.
      The ‘middle class’ has become the subject of euphoric narratives of growth and improving standards of living around the globe, and the object of government interventions and social engineering. Government interventions may be ineffective, have unintended outcomes, or be left barely articulated. Yet the place of the middle classes as embodying national success, stability and modernity has taken on the power of common sense. Modern states have long made middle classes, and in turn been legitimated by them. Indeed, ‘state’ and ‘middle class’ are sharply normative concepts – bound up with ideals as much as ideas. They represent interrelated, morally loaded projects of demarcation, distinction and recognition. This special issue examines how state institutions make middle classes through such normative commitments, and how they are made by them in turn.
      Citation: Critique of Anthropology
      PubDate: 2022-11-22T04:00:17Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0308275X221139157
      Issue No: Vol. 42, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Engineering gender, engineering the Jordanian State: Beyond the salvage
           ethnography of middle-class housewifery in the Middle East

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      Authors: Geoffrey F Hughes
      Pages: 359 - 380
      Abstract: Critique of Anthropology, Volume 42, Issue 4, Page 359-380, December 2022.
      The figure of the middle-class housewife or ‘rabbat bayt’ emerged in the late 19th-century Arabic-language public sphere amidst the colonial encounter. This gendering of middle-classness responded to a perceived cultural ‘lag’ yet now itself increasingly signifies backwardness in relation to ideals of middle-classness emphasizing women’s education and community service over older norms of purity and propriety. Today, amidst unemployment, discrimination, lack of childcare, lack of safe and reliable public transportation and a highly suburbanized built environment catering to male breadwinners, contemporary Jordanian families must navigate multiple class and gender paradigms. Against a tendency towards salvage ethnography that misrecognizes these constraints as manifestations of deeply held ‘traditional’ values, I emphasize their historicity, arguing that it is only by recognizing housewifery itself as a state project characteristic of the 20th century that we can appreciate how state-building projects drive the gendering of class roles – and the classing of gender roles.
      Citation: Critique of Anthropology
      PubDate: 2022-11-22T04:00:16Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0308275X221139151
      Issue No: Vol. 42, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • From ‘beasts of burden’ to ‘backbone of society’: The fiscal
           forging of a new Bolivian middle class

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      Authors: Miranda Sheild Johansson
      Pages: 381 - 399
      Abstract: Critique of Anthropology, Volume 42, Issue 4, Page 381-399, December 2022.
      The recently re-branded and highly digitalised Bolivian Tax Office, Servicio de Impuestos Nacionales (SIN), works to consolidate various socio-economic groups, such as the Aymara bourgeoisie (wealthy traders who identify as all or part indigenous), into a new middle class. SIN’s motivations to do so are bound up in broader international financial logics where the development of an archetypal European middle class – the so-called backbone of society – is considered key to a healthy tax profile. The efforts to forge a new middle class involves the deliberate projection of SIN as an accountable, effective, and ‘modern’ organisation, with the aim of promoting a broader fiscal culture that embodies these same characteristics; targeted education of the populace about taxpaying as an ethical act in line with highland indigenous values; and, policy-making that encourages income tax over VAT (value-added tax). However, these new middle classes experience the temporality and individualising effects of SIN’s system as incompatible with the money flows and values of their own economic lives. Specific areas of contention include the rhythms of incomes and the ethics of risk- and profit-sharing. In exploring this incompatibility, I argue that fiscal systems are key to the production and imaginations of middle-classness, both as they succeed and fail.
      Citation: Critique of Anthropology
      PubDate: 2022-11-22T04:00:15Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0308275X221139154
      Issue No: Vol. 42, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • ‘A vision for the future’: Professional ethos as boundary work in
           Mozambique’s public sector

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      Authors: Jon Schubert
      Pages: 400 - 418
      Abstract: Critique of Anthropology, Volume 42, Issue 4, Page 400-418, December 2022.
      Global imaginaries of middle-classness, although resonating in very different ways in specific national contexts, more often than not conform to broadly capitalist-liberal aspirations, through globalised markers of consumption and individual social advancement. However, as this ethnographic material from Mozambique’s mining and hydrocarbons sector suggests, even under contemporary conditions of neoliberalism, alternative imaginings of middle-classness, based on technical competence, cosmopolitanism, work ethos and professionalism as contributing to a larger narrative of national progress persist as echoes of socialist technical assistance among the technocrats managing the sector. This article explores how professionalism is constructed across regime changes, from a socialist, high modernist socio-political project that has all but vanished today as a global emancipatory reference, to the current, neoliberal economic and political dispensation that requires of public administrators to promote a business-friendly climate. Professionalism, I show, cuts across generations despite considerable differences, indexing this class’s shifting claims on the state.
      Citation: Critique of Anthropology
      PubDate: 2022-11-22T04:00:14Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0308275X221139160
      Issue No: Vol. 42, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • ‘Creature of statute’: Legal bureaucracy and the performance of
           professionalism in Johannesburg

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      Authors: Maxim Bolt
      Pages: 419 - 438
      Abstract: Critique of Anthropology, Volume 42, Issue 4, Page 419-438, December 2022.
      South Africa’s Master of the High Court administers property inheritance. Described as a ‘creature of statute’, and staffed by legally trained officials, the law takes centre-stage. Focusing on Johannesburg, the Master’s biggest and busiest branch, this article examines how law is performed in bureaucratic encounters, and how this shapes the everyday relations that make legal bureaucrats as middle-class professionals. Middle-class status is performed in the very enactment of a professional system, inflected by the racialised positioning of a new post-apartheid generation of largely black officials. Formal qualifications facilitate forms of distinction that maintain both prestige and everyday roles. Yet this is fraught. The Master and its administrators are positioned between post-apartheid potential and apartheid legal legacies; between transformation and a still racialised society; between professional ideal as legal bureaucrats and the career possibilities of a more lawyerly legal world.
      Citation: Critique of Anthropology
      PubDate: 2022-11-22T04:00:14Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0308275X221139163
      Issue No: Vol. 42, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • ‘New’ but ‘Squeezed’: Middle Class and Mortgaged
           Homeownership in Croatia

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      Authors: Marek Mikuš
      Pages: 439 - 456
      Abstract: Critique of Anthropology, Volume 42, Issue 4, Page 439-456, December 2022.
      Some recent anthropological accounts of middle classes centred on their indebted home-ownership. They stressed its two contrastive logics fitting a wider binary – exposing ‘squeezed’ middle classes in the global North to increasing risks, and supporting the ascent of their ‘new’ counterparts in the South. The genealogy of middle-class housing debt in Croatia presented in this article reveals another, post-socialist trajectory where mundane and opaque institutional practices regulating access to housing finance, such as bank credit scoring and the allocation of state housing benefits, were key in steering a middle class inherited from socialism towards mortgaged home-ownership. The latter was articulated as a middle-class experience only after the 2000s credit boom had come to an end and the consequences of rampant predatory lending became visible and subject to contestation. The resulting middle-class subjectivities are ambiguous and, as comparisons with other Eastern European cases suggest, accessible for a range of political projects.
      Citation: Critique of Anthropology
      PubDate: 2022-11-22T04:00:16Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0308275X221139159
      Issue No: Vol. 42, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Afterword: The middle class and the capitalist state

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      Authors: Hadas Weiss
      Pages: 477 - 480
      Abstract: Critique of Anthropology, Volume 42, Issue 4, Page 477-480, December 2022.

      Citation: Critique of Anthropology
      PubDate: 2022-11-22T04:00:15Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0308275X221139161
      Issue No: Vol. 42, No. 4 (2022)
       
  • Liminal states: Propertied citizenship and gendered kin work in
           middle-class Kolkata families

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      Authors: Henrike Donner
      First page: 457
      Abstract: Critique of Anthropology, Ahead of Print.
      This article traces the way the intersection between gender, class and family values is reorganised in relation to state policies that enable propertied citizenship through home-ownership. Focusing on ethnographic data from Kolkata, India, it discusses how women realise propertied citizenship in exchange for care work rather than through employment as developmentalist and liberal feminist discourses suggest. Here the way women’s lives are envisaged and represented through investment in high levels of educational attainment is in contrast to low levels of employment, symptomatic of what I call ‘liminal states’ – a gendered state of immaturity and dependence on kin. Home-ownership as a means of ‘empowerment’ configures the home as the economic and affective focus of gendered care work, which reproduces Berlant’s ‘cruel optimism’, whereby the desire to own a home and the practices of homemaking hamper autonomy and restrict the efficacy of agency.
      Citation: Critique of Anthropology
      PubDate: 2022-11-05T09:41:18Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0308275X221139158
       
 
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