Ordinary crisis: kinship and other relations of conflict

Koreen Reece (University of Edinburgh)
Room 3
Start time:
14 April, 2015 at 9:15
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Can crisis and conflict create or sustain social relations? This panel explores the analytic and ethnographic potential of conflict and crisis in tracing theoretical symbioses between kinship, politics, economy, and religion; and the ethical implications of our entanglements in intimacies of crisis.

Long abstract:

In the discursive proliferation of crisis - political, public health, economic, environmental, religious, personal, or otherwise - the most urgent crises are often framed in terms of their adverse effects upon, or (worse) origination in, the ideally-harmonious home. And yet our expectations of family stability are often closely linked to shared experiences of negotiating misunderstanding, conflict, and crisis with kin. In what ways might conflict or crisis create and sustain social relations, rather than simply disrupt them? Can the ordinary crises of kinship provide perspective on larger socio-political crises, and vice versa? How do discourses around the nature of crisis shape intervention in the family on the part of the state, the church, the corporation, or the humanitarian organisation - and the family's responses? And finally, what are the methodological and ethical implications of anthropologists' entanglements in the intimacies of crisis, whether in families, organisations, or the lives of informants? Drawing on McKinnon and Cannell (2013), this panel seeks to examine the enduring and yet obscured symbioses of kinship with political, economic, and religious relations - in both their ethnographic and theorised forms. We invite papers that explore these interdependencies specifically through the lens of crisis and conflict, understood as dynamics that may be intrinsic to and constitutive of social relations.