McKay, DCC (2007) Introduction: Finding ‘the Field’: the Problem of Locality in a Mobile World. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 7 (3). 197 - 202. ISSN 1444-2213

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Place is usually considered the backdrop for motion—the ‘where’ that people move to or from. Yet contemporary processes of migration and circulation produce increasingly porous and even mobile places. Mobility offers us new ways to perceive distance—in time, space, society and culture—through what Trouillot calls a ‘fragmented globality’. How can anthropologists theorise this fragmented globality without taking static forms of place as the necessary basis for mobility? The presumed stability of place and locale has long been the ground of anthropological research. Intensified mobility is throwing ‘into disarray pre-existing anthropological assumptions about culture, ethnicity, and territoriality, in particular, the notion of a stable relationship between people and place’ (Ward, in The Australian Journal of Anthropology, vol. 14, no. 1, 2003 Ward, S. 2003. ‘On shifting ground: changing formulations of place in anthropology’. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 14(1): 80–96, p. 80). Locality has itself become a problem for fieldworkers, as social fields and networks widen and fragment and anthropologists have simultaneously found their concepts of place and locality troubled by theorisations emerging from other disciplines and, more recently, from within anthropology itself.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Physical and Geographical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2015 16:21
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2019 07:28

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