Browsing by Author "Ngwane, Zolani"
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- Item"A Dialogue of Life": Fostering Interfaith Coexistence in Hyderabad, India(2015) Leter, Deborah; Ngwane, ZolaniThis thesis is an ethnographic study of local civil society organizations dedicated to fostering interfaith coexistence and communal harmony amongst Hindu and Muslim communities in Hyderabad, India. My fieldwork for this project consisted of observing programs and conducting interviews with NGO staff members and program participants. By balancing observations from this fieldwork with theoretical knowledge, this thesis analyzes the beliefs motivating NGOs, the kinds of programs they carry out, and the ways in which they respond to the state’s failure to foster interfaith unity by providing alternative civic spaces for people to come together. Motivated by the idea that “economic development programs” have a greater transformative effect on interreligious relations within polarized communities than dialogue-based interfaith work, many of the NGOs I visited see communal peace as a product of harmonious social interactions between individuals. I situate this thesis within the anthropological subfield known as the “anthropology of peace,” and draw primarily from anthropology, peace studies and political science literature to place my fieldwork within a larger discussion of civil society, communal violence, and nationalism. Moreover, I argue that the anthropological study of positive peace—the institutions, structures and attitudes that help build a peaceful society—can meaningfully contribute to strengthening existing peacebuilding efforts.
- ItemA Question of Life, A Sentence of Death : Analysis of the Empowerment Discourse for HIV/AIDS in Guatemala City(2006) Leitner-Laserna, Liliana; Porter, Judith; Ngwane, ZolaniIn this thesis, I examine the ways in which the term “empowerment” (empoderamiento) is conceptualized and utilized by various actors in the HIV/AIDS community in Guatemala City. My desire to explore this theme stems from the participant-observation I conducted in a Médecins Sans Frontiéres HIV/AIDS clinic from March-August 2004. In my thesis I analyze the various discourses emerging around this word, its evolution/development in different spheres and people, and its deployment and appropriation by various individuals. Utilizing interview data from fieldwork conducted in December 2005, I use two analytical methodologies to investigate the discourses that healthcare providers and patients present regarding the notion of “empowerment.” The first analysis uses a coding model both to characterize the nature of the discourses, uncovering trends between patients and providers, and to compare these discourses to the First World’s articulation of the word empowerment (using World Bank’s definition). The second analysis utilizes a case study of a patient/ provider to explore the complexities of adopting a First World discourse. Here I demonstrate that attempts to “localize” the concept of empowerment is limited to translating the word linguistically and to using local people to promote its use. I argue that attempts to promote First World discourses indeed fail to instill a true local empowerment because the underlying ideological presuppositions in the term “empowerment” leaves no room for local understandings. Such a pattern proves to be unsustainable and ineffective to promote true grassroots empowerment. Hence in this thesis I propose that the World Bank changes its current day definition of empowerment in order to frame development programs directly from local people’s epistemology.
- ItemBeyond the Body: A Disruption of Mainstream Conceptions of Eating Disorders(2020) Guild, Kaitlyn; Ngwane, ZolaniMainstream conceptions of eating disorders tend to be centered around images of the emaciated body, highlighting and bringing attention to the physical manifestations of a single narrative and experience of the mental illness. The reproduction of an understanding of eating disorders as solely pertaining to the physical implications of this mental illness can have on the body erases the complex nature of eating disorders, namely the ways they encompass the interconnectivity of the mind and body. Through bringing personal journal entries and poems I wrote during my time in treatment for my eating disorder into conversation with narratives and experiences shared in a public online forum for folks with eating disorders, this thesis works to shed light on the ways they are mechanized and function to cope with, distract from, and make sense of lived experiences.
- ItemExperiential blues identity : analyzing racial categories of difference in a Philadelphia blues club(2003) Edmundson, Kate; Ngwane, ZolaniThe individual's proper experience of blues music and other 'African American' music according to his or her race has been the subject of a controversial 20th century debate. The black arts movement of the 1960s gave impetus to the popular black nationalistic notion that blues music belongs exclusively to African Americans. Subsequent anti-essentialist and pluralistic theories have problematized the black essentialist notion of racial ownership of music. The work presented below, an ethnographic study of Warmdaddy's in Philadelphia examines two evenings of blues culture at that blues club. My findings indicate that neither of the traditional poles of the black music debate, essentialism and anti-essentialism, adequately describes the experience of blues music for Blacks and Whites who participate in it.
- ItemFOLLOWING MY MIGRANT LEGACY: TOWARD AN AUTOETHNOGRAPHIC FRAMEWORK THAT REIMAGINES THE TRANSITION TO COLLEGE AS A MIGRATION(2020) Luqueño, Leslie Patricia; Ngwane, ZolaniIn this thesis, I use an autoethnographic approach to demonstrate how the transition to college can be viewed as a migratory process, particularly for second-generation migrants. I leverage my lived experience as the eldest daughter of Mexican immigrant parents to assemble a framework that visualizes the different parts of my migration from Los Angeles, California to Haverford College in suburban Pennsylvania. I parallel my own experiences with those of my parents when they migrated from Hidalgo, Mexico to Los Angeles and reflect on their similarities and differences. The objective of this thesis is to portray (1) how my parents' own migration to the United States influenced my own collegiate journey out-of-state and (2) demonstrate different aspects of the transition to college that resemble areas studied within migration studies. I coin the term ‘migrant legacies' to show how the knowledge derived from migration can be passed down intergenerationally and intragenerationally and applied to different settings, such as the journey through higher education. Ultimately, through a deep autoethnographic and familial history approach, I aim at exploring how ‘migrant legacies' can serve as valuable sites for knowledge production that give second-generation migrants forms of social and cultural capital that can help them thrive and survive in new college environments.
- Item"I Am Not a Vigilante": Making Every Day a Patrol with the Town Watches of Philadelphia(2014) Fox, Samuel; Ngwane, ZolaniAs the "eyes and ears" of the police, town watches "observe, document, and report" suspicious behavior. Many town watch volunteers do not go on patrols, and those that do rarely, if ever, encounter criminals. Based on my ethnographic work with the town watches of Philadelphia, I argue that town watches are less about preventing crime and more about creating a new kind of civilian: one that makes every day a "patrol." I present my ethnographic findings through two stories: one about a patrol and another about a community meeting. Each of these stories is a collage of "crime fictions" that may be used to understand how criminal problems and solutions are determined by town watches. As an addendum to my thesis, I include a fictional short story that operates according to an aesthetic inspired by my fieldwork with the town watches of Philadelphia. Working against the high-tech fact finding and neat resolutions of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, my aesthetic imagines crime prevention in terms of nostalgia and uncertainty.
- ItemSANA SANA: HEALING MODALITIES, COMMUNITY POWER, AND HEALTH DISPARITIES(2020) Urquiza, Rosa; Ngwane, ZolaniWestern medicine often invalidates and marginalizes the knowledge and health practices that come from low-income communities of color. This invalidation is dangerous as it negates the power of these communities and does not render them as producers of knowledge. Medical anthropology has attempted to highlight the knowledge and health practices of marginalized communities. However, in these explorations, feminist theory is often not used, and research does not move past describing the curing abilities the practices. These limitations lead to essentializing the practices of marginalized communities, not understanding their complexities, and ultimately othering their knowledge. My aim in this thesis is to push past these limitations. Through an ethnographic investigation with a Chicana feminist standpoint, I will conduct semi-structured interviews and a media analysis in order to explore the questions: how do migrant, low-income communities in Santa Ana take care of themselves and what impact do healing modalities have in their lives? I will also explore the relationship between healing modalities and health disparities. I hope to bring light to the importance of recognizing and not essentializing these healing modalities and how these healing modalities can inform us about the disparities, resilience, knowledge, and networks that exist in communities like mine.
- ItemSex (Work), Drugs, and HIV/AIDS: Narrating Agency in Bali(2012) Zelnick, Jennifer A.; Saleh, Zainab; Ngwane, ZolaniThis paper explores the ways in which ODHA (Orang Dengan HIV/AIDS, or individuals living with HIV/AIDS) in Bali negotiate agency. I argue that institutionalized inequalities produce a dominant and dominating discourse or “master narrative” on HIV/AIDS that systematically (re)inscribes ODHA as immoral, liminal, and deviant. I seek to explore the ways in which these individuals simultaneously accept and reject stigma, structural violence, symbolic violence, and the master narrative as a means of understanding, interpreting, and negotiating their own agency. Building upon existing relevant literature on the Anthropology of HIV/AIDS in Indonesia and my own ethnographic experiences in Bali during the summer of 2011, I will employ social theory in order to examine the underlying causes of such inequalities, and how individuals both accept and challenge these conditions.
- ItemTheir Bricks, Our Homes: An Ethnography On The Duality Of Eritrean Nationalism In Relation To Its Customary Laws(2014) Kifle-ab, Nathaniel; Ngwane, ZolaniNationalism is not reliant upon position or locality. Nationalism is fluid and dynamic, and it is a combination of give and take between the people and their state; resulting in fluctuations of intensity and public presence based on the situational circumstances of the time. So as their colonizers imposed upon their customary laws, one by one, we see a surge of nationalism from the Eritrean population in defense of their orally translated doctrines. Keeping the same logic, it is clear that during times of relative peace and tranquility that nationalism becomes subsidiary to more localized and particular issues. In a sense, times of crisis and turmoil bring with them the opportunity for the people to triumph over a common enemy. Hopefully in doing so, I will show that nationalism has never been abandoned in Eritrea but instead that it is so deeply engrained within adherence to the customary laws that during times of domestic and particular calm it re-mains dormant-waiting, to pounce. Eritrea's historical context, in light of its current status, provides for a complicated and often times misleading interpretation of nationalism and identity. My initial assumptions about Eritrean nationalism were incorrectly formatted around a single obsession; the desertion and defection rates plaguing the country. My mistake was thinking that I could define or classify nationalism without first understanding the "cultural system" by which the nation operated. Without locating the significant elements of power with a given society, it is impossible to adequately represent something so diverse and encompassing as "nationalism" towards one's country. As for its customary laws, which have not been well documented in the past, Eritrean identity and cultural systems have not strayed far from its initial dogmas even in the face of constant colonization and degradation. So to the outside world, myself included, it may be hard to see past the isolated nature of a nation so intent on liberating itself without the political, financial, and moral impositions of western society. However, in response to such critics I would like to offer the position of one of the leading figures in "interpretive Anthropology," Clifford Geertz. In the opening section of The Interpretive Culture, entitled "Thick Description," Geertz offers his opinion on the matter of observing or classifying cultural systems. He writes, "Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of meaning. It is explication I am after, construing social expressions on their surface enigmatical" (Geertz 5). Keeping said logic, my aim is to provide both historical context and ethnographic observations in order to persuade you that despite external interventions, true analysis demonstrates adherence to the customary laws above all else.