CALL FOR PAPERS – AAA 2012: Imagined Crossings: Ethnographic reflections on new idioms of connection and the re-imagination of boundaries

CALL FOR PAPERS – AAA 2012:

Imagined Crossings: Ethnographic reflections on new idioms of connection and the re-imagination of boundaries

Idioms of “connection”, “networks”, and “flows” have become powerful metaphors in multiple socio-cultural contexts in both quotidian and academic life (see Barry 2001, Leitner 2012, Mattelart 1999, 2000, Riles 2000,and Strathern 1996). These categories are of methodological and analytical concern to anthropologists, but are also “native” categories of relating for many of our informants. Connecting disparate points in a social field is often represented as a seemingly self-evident value of democratic and liberal ideologies; the perceived ability of “networks” to transcend structural boundaries in social, political, economic and geographic spaces being but one chief example. This panel asks what this implies for our understanding of social life in a world increasingly portrayed as more “connected”; a world in which technologies, social relations, economic institutions and ideologies are increasingly portrayed as boundless and uncontainable. Taking these idioms primarily as emic categories, this panel seeks to explain the significance of “connection” for understanding social relations and personhood in a “connected” world. Continue reading CALL FOR PAPERS – AAA 2012: Imagined Crossings: Ethnographic reflections on new idioms of connection and the re-imagination of boundaries