Accepted paper:

Lives Opposed: perceptivity and tacticality in conflict and crime

Authors:

Henrik Vigh (University of Copenhagen)

Paper short abstract:

Building on fieldwork with urban poor in West Africa and marginal West African migrants in Europe this paper looks at the way people tactically adjust to contexts of insecurity and danger. It clarifies how perspectives and practices are attuned to antagonistic situations and relations.

Paper long abstract:

This paper looks at the way people tactically adjust to contexts of insecurity and danger. Building on fieldwork with disenfranchised urban poor in West Africa and marginal West African migrants in Europe it clarifies how perspectives and practices are attuned to antagonistic situations and relations. The paper argues that the struggle to identify threats leads to a nervous sociality in which figures and social forces are examined for hidden intentions and negative potentials. Such circumstances engender an apprehensive bearing, as an affective posture and approach, through which social life is sought investigated and controlled. It leads to a scanning and probing of social life and generates a range of pre-emptive practices.

panel P120
Antagonistic sociality: an anthropology of lives opposed