CASCA/IUAES2017 Conference in Ottawa
Work on public policy provides an avenue for examining how state power is exercised and negotiated in everyday life. A range of case studies in Latin America critically examines the complexity of "the state" and "civil society" or "the public".
Work on public policy provides an avenue for examining how state power is exercised and negotiated in everyday life. A range of case studies in Latin America critically examines the complexity of "the state" and "the public" or"civil society. The ebb and flow of populist, neoliberal and leftist governments makes Latin America a particularly rich site for considering these questions. Likewise, social movements express political visions and make visible the interventions of a variety of type of social actors -poor, wealthy, unionized, indigenous, campesino, corporate, landless… . As we know, differently situated social actors negotiate and experience these processes in distinctive ways; this includes state and non-state actors, acquiescence and resistance. Drawing on a variety of empirical cases and theoretical perspectives, we ask what interventions anthropology can make into thinking about the writing of and about policy.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Race and tourism in the Dominican Republic: the construction of illegal labor
I will be making an analytical connection of the Dominican migratory policies, and the racialization of labour in the tertiary sector, as a way to understand the interconnections of the legal and racial categories within the political and economical processes of Dominican nation-state construction.
The purpose of the present essay is to theoretically address the recent modifications to the Dominican migratory law and to discuss how, taking them as case study, may be a good resource to the understanding of the social construction of race. Driven by the projection of a doctoral research, I will ask how it is possible to make sense of these structural changes from an ethnographic perspective focused on the racialization of labour. In that regard, I will analyse one specific labor niche, the tourism sector, and the subjects that along the racial and legal categories, are being produced within its different processes. With it, I pretend to establish an analytical bond between the definability of the status of illegality and the exploitability of the workforce identified as illegal, within a racialized Dominican framing of nation-state formation.
Affective politics and the problem of 'sex tourism' in Natal during the 2014 World Cup in Natal, Brazil
Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Natal during the 2014 World Cup, I examine the ways in which the Brazilian state has tackled the problem of sex tourism through affective politics and punitive logics that provide public legitimacy to repressive interventions against local sex workers.
In Brazil, the advent of several mega-sporting events - most notably the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics - has led to various state practices of city-staging and image-making, as the host cities market themselves to a global audience. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in Natal during the 2014 World Cup, I examine the ways in which the problem of 'sex tourism' became especially prominent for Natal's image, leading to various interventions to tackle it. I suggest that mega-events crystalize already existing patterns, rather than radically departing from them. Thus, while sex tourism has constituted an image-problem for the city of Natal for more than a decade, the World Cup has crystallized state interventions long in the making, including prior cleansing practices and state practices of gentrification, surveillance, and policing that have resulted in patterns of urban exclusion and inequality. In the critical scholarship on mega-sporting events, the focus is commonly on the state as a unified, disembodied institution, but here I trace how state practices are produced through everyday practices and enacted by variously located state and non-state actors. I thus examine the ways in which the interests of faith-based organizations, feminist movements, and leftist activists colluded with the state in the opposition to sex tourism during the World Cup in Natal, giving public legitimacy to punitive logics of securitization and criminalization. Under the guise of tackling the problem of 'sex tourism', campaigns and interventions materialized in ways that severely curtailed the labour and mobility of local sex workers.
Para los chicos: family, care and morality in the everyday life of Argentina's conditional cash transfer program
At the core of Argentina’s conditional cash transfer program is a focus on children. This focus shapes both pragmatic concerns and moral discourses for state actors, recipients and the wider public.
Argentina's Asignación Universal por Hijo (AUH) is an exemplary conditional cash transfer program which has demonstrated its ability to substantially reduce poverty (especially extreme poverty) in the country. Its express aim is to reduce child poverty, while also improving both school attendance and children's basic health care needs. As one journalist noted at the program's initiation, "the responsibility falls on the parents, while the beneficiary is the child" (Weinfeld). This fact has important implications in how the policy has played out both concretely for recipients and in the widespread public debate and commentary about it. The conviction that the AUH is "para los chicos" is a central element of concern. Both the parental responsibility and support for children are important elements in the programs legitimacy, even, sometimes especially for recipients themselves. Moreover, the child focus of the AUH comes to take on a moral component in participants' lives because what it means to be a good caregiver is tied to how recipients use the money they receive, and how and why they carry out the program's requirements regarding school attendance and health care requirements. These moral inferences extend beyond the pragmatic concerns of the program itself, dynamically shaping the meanings and nature of certain familial, household, and neighbourhood relations.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.