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Postill, J. 2008 Uses of keyword ‘practices’ in four media anthropological collections

Postill, J. 2008 Uses of keyword ‘practices’ in four media anthropological collections

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Published by John Postill
The uses of the word ‘practices’ and its numerous offspring (‘media practices’, ‘cultural practices’, ‘discursive practices’ etc etc – up to almost 100 different usages) in a set of four media anthropological edited volumes. I used Google Book search + physical books.
The uses of the word ‘practices’ and its numerous offspring (‘media practices’, ‘cultural practices’, ‘discursive practices’ etc etc – up to almost 100 different usages) in a set of four media anthropological edited volumes. I used Google Book search + physical books.

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Published by: John Postill on Dec 14, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Uses of keyword ‘practices’ in four media anthropological collections(complete set)
Tools used: Google Books search engine + physical booksAim: to record and analyse the mainstream media anthropological uses of the key notion of ‘practices’ as part of preparation for introductory chapter to volume Bräuchler, B. and J.Postill (eds) (forthcoming)
Theorising Media and Practice
. Oxford and New York:Berghahn.John PostillSheffield Hallam University30 Jul. 08
Book 1: Ginsburg, F.D., L. Abu-Lughod and B. Larkin (eds.). 2002.
 Media worlds. Anthropology on new terrain
. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Ginsburg, Abu-Lughod and Larkin p. 1 ‘we have attempted to use anthropology to push media studies into new environmentsand examine diverse media practices that are only beginning to be mapped’ p. 1 TV watching occurs ‘as part of “a set of daily practices and discourses…through whichthat complex act is itself constituted” ([Silverstone] 1994: 133) p 2 ‘…wider concept of ethnography that gives us purchase on the wider social fields withinwhich media practices operate’ p. 2 Western media theory ‘has established a cultural grid of media theory with the effect of  bringing into visibility only certain types of media technologies and practices’ p. 4 ‘This revisionist work in visual anthropology also draws on postcolonial studies (as wellas film practices) addressing the complexities of cross-cultural representation…, as well asminority…, diasporic…, and small media practices’ p. 5 ‘Many anthropologists found media a rich site for research on cultural practices andcirculation’ p. 6 ‘This [Appadurai-inspired] argument… challenges the ontology of the text, arguinginstead that the meaning of texts and objects is enacted through practices of reception’ p. 6 ‘Through grounded analyses of the practices, cultural worlds, and even fantasies of socialactors … we have begun to unbundle assumptions regarding the political economy and socialrelations shaping media production, circulation and reception, and the impacts of mediatechnologies themselves’ p. 7 ‘the different kinds of media practices represented in this volume can be placed on asociopolitical continuum reflected in the different sections of the book’ p. 7 ‘On one end are the more classic formations of mass media produced through largegovernmental and commercial institutions intent on constituting modern citizens and
consumers. …In the middle range are more reflexive processes [related to] a variety of subaltern social and cosmological worlds. … On the other end are more self-conscious practices, often linked to social movements, in which cultural material is used andstrategically deployed as part of a broader project of political empowerment by indigenousand other disenfranchised groups…’ p. 8 Cultural activism is ‘part of a spectrum of practices of self-conscious mediation andmobilization of culture that took shape beginning in the late twentieth century…’ p. 8 Small indigenous media initiatives are ‘particularly well suited for anthropologicalinquiry’ as they ‘occupy a comfortable position of difference from dominant culturalassumptions about media aesthetics and practices’ p. 9 Some anthropologists alarmed at spread of media into indigenous societies; ‘they seethese new practices as destructive of cultural difference and the study of such work as “ersatzanthropology”’ p. 14 Abu Lughod points out that ‘even those [Egyptian] viewers most involved withtelevision participate in other social institutions and engage in other practices, most notablyof contemporary religious groups, that powerfully reorient subjectivity. If the messages of television “go wrong”, they do so in patterned ways linked to the larger social fields that offer audiences other interpretive frameworks’. p. 23 ‘Anthropologists now recognize that we are implicated in the representational practicesof those we study’ p. 23 ‘This book explores the dynamics of all these social processes of media consumption, production, circulation, and theorizing while making a strong case for the new kinds of knowledge to be gained from ethnographic work that studies practices in “out-of-the-way places” (Tsing 1994)’ p. 23 ‘Our work also underscores that oppositional logics are insufficient for grasping media practices; rather, our models must allow for the simultaneity of hegemonic and anti-hegemonic effects…’
1 Screen Memories
Ginsburg p. 43 ‘There are those who argue that television of any sort is inherently destructive to Inuit(and other indigenous) lives and cultural practices’ p. 43 Yet for indigenous media producers themselves ‘these media practices are part of a broader project of constituting a cultural future’ p. 52 ‘Tracking these emergent media practices, one can see how they have developed inrelation to Aboriginal concerns and national policies’
2 Visual Media and the Primitivist Perplex
H. Prins
 p. 67 ‘Revisiting the [Mi’kmaq] community in 1999, I experienced a peculiar form of cultureshock….Last but not least, the community had rekindled some long-neglected Mi’kmaqcultural practices’ p. 67 ‘… the Plains Apache film project is about an indigenous dilemma of self-representation, in which a tribe’s decision to document certain cultural practices is at oddswith their own conventions of keeping such traditions under wraps’
cultural practices = traditions4. Spectacles of Difference
M. McLagan p. 106 ‘I take the social practices involved in managing this difference [between Western andTibetan media frames] through media forms that cross cultural boundaries to be a vital formof cultural production that remains little understood outside of media circles’ p. 106 ‘By paying ethnographic attention to the mechanics by which stories are put intocirculation, via press conferences, press releases, publicity tours, and quiet words with journalists, as well as the backstage negotiations through which these stories are formulatedin the first place, one can defamiliarize what for many are apparently familiar yetunexamined cultural practices’ p. 106 ‘In so doing, one emphasizes the mediating role that such social practices play in theway media and “culture” are deployed in the production of contemporary politics’ p. 106 ‘…from what position do Tibetans manipulate and rescript Western media-political practices to serve their own political ends? From what experiential or cultural reserves doTibetan political practices and historical consciousness in the diaspora emerge?’
5 Egyptian Melodrama – Technology of the Modern Subject?
Abu-Lughod p. 129 ‘…new focus on the self [in Egypt is] entangled with similar processes associated withcurrent religious practices’ p. 129 ‘…some of the individualizing encouraged by melodrama…may be reinforced by thecurrent practices of cultivating moral selves’
7 The National Picture
Annette Hamilton p. 153 ‘the sense of distinctive locality expressed through many traditional narratives and practices in many neighborhoods has been suppressed and does not find expression in thearray of nationally sanctioned representations’ p. 153 ‘an intensification in national self-representation at the same time that new social practices, values and attitudes are being promoted in line with the goal of achieving“modernity”’ p. 155 ‘The administrative reforms during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910)were explicitly modelled on the colonial practices of the Dutch in the “East Indies”…’

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