Posts Tagged ‘Neoliberalism’

Van Fleet, “On Devils and the Dissolution of Sociality”

November 22, 2011

Van Fleet, Krista E. 2011. On Devils and the Dissolution of Sociality: Andean Catholics Voicing Ambivalence in Neoliberal Bolivia. Anthropological Quarterly 84(4): 835-864.

Abstract: In the Andean highlands of Bolivia, people sometimes express their ambivalence over the religious conversion of family and community members through stories about evangelical Protestants who have been possessed by Santuku or the devil. The article analyzes these narratives as part of a larger genre of devil stories and as a window onto the multiple ways Andean Catholics link migration, religious conversion, and death in the context of broader neoliberal transformations. From the perspective of those “left behind”—Catholic family and community members—conversion empties the future. Nevertheless, the necessary labor of dissolving or reconfiguring social relationships is undertaken by both Catholics and evangelical Protestants and sheds light on the production of sociality in 21st century Bolivia.

Han, “If You Don’t Work, You Don’t Eat”

October 15, 2011

Han, Ju Hi Judy (2011) ‘“If You Don’t Work, You Don’t Eat”: Evangelizing Development in Africa.’ In New Millennium South Korea: Neoliberal Capital and Transnational Movements, ed. Jesook Song. London: Routledge.

Excerpt:  Work or else starve – these unkind words were uttered partly out of frustration. Two South Korean Christian missionaries from Global Mission Frontier (GMF) were presenting a week-long economic development seminar to approximately 30 local government officials and municipal employees crowded inside a modest hotel room in Mwanza, Tanzania. The seminar leader, Deacon Shin, had begun by introducing himself as hailing from the prosperous land of Samsung and the LG Group (two of the world’s biggest conglomerates) but he failed to impress – the participants had never heard of these corporate brands. “How about Hyndai?” Deacon Shin asked in disbelief. “You must surely have seen all the Hyundai advertising during the World Cup?” Apparently not. Deacon Shin shook his head in dismay, and explained that there are large, powerful companies from Korea, and that their very success stands as proof of the miracle of Korean economic development . . . It was then that Deacon Shin suddenly instructed everyone to stand up and stretch  – and shout after him, “You don’t work, you don’t eat!” When some chuckled, he said firmly, “This is in the Bible!” and pointed to the Bible in his hand. Indeed, there it was in Second Thessalonians of the New Testament: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” He explained that this verse captured the key to Korea’s economic miracle, and rallied the class in fist-pumping chants for several minutes: “No work, no eat! No work, no eat!”

 

 

 

O’Neill, “Delinquent Realities”

October 3, 2011

O’Neill, Kevin Lewis. 2011. “Delinquent Realities: Christianity, Formality, and Security in the Americas.” American Quarterly 63(2: 337-365.

Abstract: In response to growing postwar violence in Guatemala, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) cosponsored a reality television show in which ten former gang members were split into two teams, each of which was expected to build a sustainable business within Guatemala’s formal economy. This competition modeled a kind of entrepreneurial self-fashioning that relied on Christian images and imperatives to “formalize” the show’s reportedly delinquent participants. Based on several years of ethnographic fieldwork in Central and North America, this article explores how this Christian self-fashioning dramatizes an increasingly popular strategy for gang prevention and intervention throughout the Americas: regional security by way of good Christian living. Christianity today has become entangled with the geopolitics of American security, especially when it comes to efforts at gang abatement, linking the illegal activities of transnational criminal networks to the morality of individual men and women.

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