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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Founded in September 1901 as the first department of anthropology in the western United States, Berkeley developed a particular style characterized by innovation and diversity. This consistently top ranked Department is distinctive for the breadth and depth of its research interests and the collected record of its scholarly publications figure centrally in shaping American anthropology.

Cover page of Why Singapore Trumps Iceland, Journal of Cultural Economy, 12 May 2015

Why Singapore Trumps Iceland, Journal of Cultural Economy, 12 May 2015


The article explores how an NIH (National Institute of Health) policy of racialization-as-inclusion in research informs the building of Asian DNA databases at Biopolis, an emerging biomedical hub in Singapore. Citing variability in DNA and populations in the Asian region, Singaporean biostatisticians challenge DeCode Genetics of Iceland as an exemplary model of genomic research. They claim that genetic traits among populations in Asia that are relatively new to medical genomics -- and being gathered "in the wild" -- gain value from being calculated and databased. The infrastructure deploys the ethnic heuristic in different registers. First, the network of ethnicity becomes a supple membrane coextensive with the network of genetic data points. Second, ethnicity is rendered an immutable mobile that circulates databases beyond tiny Singapore, making the infrastructure at once situated, flexible, and expansive. Third, the ethnic signifier carries affective value that enhances a sense of what is at stake in the building, mobilization and implications of such Asian databases. In short the origami-like folding together of multiple, flowable and perfomative data points shapes a unilateral topological space of biomedical "Asia."

Cover page of Conceptual Histories of Tourism: A Transcultural Dialog

Conceptual Histories of Tourism: A Transcultural Dialog



Today’s world, characterized by networked agencies, global flows, cultural hybridity, andmovements of people within and across borders, contextualizes tourism in many ways. Paying close attention to the multiple translations and circulations of the concept of “tourism” across the globe, this symposium endeavors to elaborate both the spatial and temporal dimensions of the conceptual history of tourism. With this theme in mind, the symposium will deal with the following questions: How has the western concept of tourism (primarily Anglophone and French) traveled to non-Western contexts in Asia (including the Middle East), Africa, or South America, thereby imposing a discursive hegemony of a conceptual lexicon? Which native/local concepts of hospitality have been displaced by this conceptual globalization or have transformedit? Do newly emerging forms of tourism across the globe contribute to the intellectual discussion of the “decline of the West” and the “provincialization of Europe,” or they are just furtherexamples of westernization?

 Keywords: Tourism; theory; concepts; world anthropologies

Cover page of Dangerous Spaces of Citizenship: Gang Talk, Rights Talk, and Rule of Law in Brazil

Dangerous Spaces of Citizenship: Gang Talk, Rights Talk, and Rule of Law in Brazil


This article considers an apparently perplexing aspect of democratization in Brazil: the use by notorious criminal gangs (comandos) from the poor urban peripheries and prisons of the discourses of democratic citizenship, justice, and rule of law to represent their own organizations and intentions. I situate this use within an unsettling development in Latin America generally during the last thirty years: the coincidence nearly everywhere of increasing political democracy and increasing everyday violence and injustice against citizens. My discussion considers these new territorializations of power and violence and their consequences for citizenship, democracy, and urbanization. To bring them to light, I focus on public pronouncements by Brazilian criminal gang that typically combine rationalities of crime with those of democracy, citizen rights, rule of law, and revolution. I also compare them with public declarations made by the police. I analyze both in relation to the historically dominant paradigm of Brazilian citizenship that democratization destabilizes. I then evaluate this destabilization with regard to the new kinds of violence and paradigms of insurgent citizenship that have emerged as characteristics of urbanization and democratization worldwide.

Cover page of Privileged Exclusion in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan: Ethnic Return Migration, Citizenship, and the Politics of (Not) Belonging

Privileged Exclusion in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan: Ethnic Return Migration, Citizenship, and the Politics of (Not) Belonging


This essay explores issues of citizenship and belonging associated with post-Soviet Kazakhstan’s repatriation program. Beginning in 1991, Kazakhstan financed the resettlement of over 944,000 diasporic Kazakhs from nearly a dozen countries, including Mongolia, and encouraged repatriates to become naturalized citizens. Using the concept of privileged exclusion, we argue that repatriated Kazakhs from Mongolia simultaneously belong due to their knowledge of Kazakh language and traditions, yet do not belong due to their lack of linguistic fluency in Russian, the absence of a shared Soviet experience, and limited comfort with the ‘cosmopolitan’ lifestyle that characterizes the new elite in this post-Soviet context.

Cover page of The social and political aspects of food surplus

The social and political aspects of food surplus


This article looks at how surplus is not only an economic reality but a state of mind, created by and reflecting the social and political relations of a group, by considering examples of historic and prehistoric food surplus. The state of one’s surplus is not just what one stores, but also how others see it and think about it. Individuals are not alone, but always think of their surplus within a larger network of social and political interactions with others who are also storing food as well as within the rules for access. These networks have been considered safety nets by archaeologists, but often, as with many situations today, the populace does not have access to the safety net. Two case studies illustrate the dynamics and differences of this constructed side of food surplus.

Cover page of A New Bibliography of Elizabeth Colson

A New Bibliography of Elizabeth Colson


Draft of a PDF bibliography of the work of UC Berkeley professor emerita Dr. Elizabeth Colson. The bibligraphy has 340+ works authored between 1940 and 2016, organized first by date and within that by single- or co-authored works.

  • 1 supplemental file