Ethnography in Unstable Places is a collection of ethnographic accounts of what everyday life is like in the midst of dramatic political transformation, offering vivid case studies that range from the Middle East and Africa to Europe, Russia, and Southeast Asia. These distinguished anthropologists narrate particular circumstances of social and political change - in contexts of colonialism, war and its aftermath, social movements, and post-Cold War climates - from the standpoints of ordinary people caught up in and having to cope with the collapse or reconfiguration of the states in which they live. Using grounded ethnographic detail to explore the challenges to the anthropological imagination that are posed by modern uncertainties, the contributors confront the ambiguities, uncertainties, and paradoxes that exist across the spectrum of human cultures and geographies. The collection is framed by introductory and concluding chapters that highlight different dimensions of the book's interrelated themes, such as agency and ethnographic reflexivity, identity and ethics, and the inseparability of political economy and interpretivism.
Specific areas covered also include post-unification East Germany, Jewish ghettoes in Poland during the second world war, Palestine and Israel, and colonial Namibia. Ethnography in Unstable Places will interest students and specialists in social anthropology, sociology, political science, international relations, and cultural studies.
Carol J. Greenhouse is Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University.
Elizabeth Mertz is Associate Professor of Law and affiliated faculty in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also Senior Research Fellow for the American Bar Foundation.
Kay B. Warren is Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University.