Stewart refrains from positing an overarching system—whether it’s called globalization or neoliberalism or capitalism—to describe the ways that economic, political, and social forces shape individual lives. Instead, she begins with the disparate, fragmented, and seemingly inconsequential experiences of everyday life to bring attention to the ordinary as an integral site of cultural politics. Ordinary affect, she insists, is registered in its particularities, yet it connects people and creates common experiences that shape public feeling. Through this anecdotal history—one that poetically ponders the extremes of the ordinary and portrays the dense network of social and personal connections that constitute a life—Stewart asserts the necessity of attending to the fleeting and changeable aspects of existence in order to recognize the complex personal and social dynamics of the political world.
Kathleen Stewart is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. She is the author of A Space on the Side of the Road: Cultural Poetics in an “Other” America.
Opler's classic Culture, Psychiatry, and Human Values has here been revised and expanded to nearly twice the size of the original work. The new materials present in greater depth the author's views on the connection between culture and mental health and broaden the perspectives of theory and research on cultural change and development, the migration of acculturating populations, and the resulting shifts in diagnostic and therapeutic problems brought about by the stresses of the modern world.
By enriching a survey of cultural evolution with fertile cross-cultural comparisons and a discussion of the interaction between culture and personality, Opler adds to our knowledge of the etiology and treatment of mental illnesses in primitive societies as well as among more advanced ethnic groups and subcultures in today's metropolis. Of particular significance at a time when social and community psychiatry has assumed a major role all over the world, this pioneering work is must reading not only for students of culture and personality, psychiatrists, social scientists, and workers in community health programs, but also for the educated reader concerned about these critical problems of our day.
In the mid-1990s, scholars turned their attention toward the ways that ongoing political, economic, and cultural transformations were changing the realm of the social, specifically that aspect of it described by the notion of affect: pre-individual bodily forces, linked to autonomic responses, which augment or diminish a body’s capacity to act or engage with others. This “affective turn” and the new configurations of bodies, technology, and matter that it reveals, is the subject of this collection of essays. Scholars based in sociology, cultural studies, science studies, and women’s studies illuminate the movement in thought from a psychoanalytically informed criticism of subject identity, representation, and trauma to an engagement with information and affect; from a privileging of the organic body to an exploration of nonorganic life; and from the presumption of equilibrium-seeking closed systems to an engagement with the complexity of open systems under far-from-equilibrium conditions. Taken together, these essays suggest that attending to the affective turn is necessary to theorizing the social.
Contributors. Jamie “Skye” Bianco, Grace M. Cho, Patricia Ticineto Clough, Melissa Ditmore, Ariel Ducey, Deborah Gambs, Karen Wendy Gilbert, Greg Goldberg, Jean Halley, Hosu Kim, David Staples, Craig Willse , Elizabeth Wissinger , Jonathan R. Wynn
Drawing on ethnographic research, Bobby Benedicto paints a remarkably counterintuitive portrait of gay spaces in postcolonial cities. He argues that Filipino gay men’s pursuit of an elusive global gay modernity sustains the very class, gender, and racial hierarchies that structure urban life in the Philippines. Benedicto examines, for example, how practices such as driving enable the emergence of a classed gay cityscape, and how scenes of networked global cities engender discourse that positions Manila within a global system of “gay capitals.” And yet he also analyzes how the fantasy of gay globality is imperiled when privileged gay men from Manila, while traveling abroad, encounter Filipino labor migrants and come face-to-face with the exclusionary racial orders that operate in gay spaces overseas.
Unique in its methodological approach, Under Bright Lights employs affective, first-person storytelling techniques to capture the visceral experience of Manila and gay life in a third world city.