Mediating the Global: Expatria's Forms and Consequences in Kathmandu

By Heather Hindman | Go to book overview

Notes

Introduction

1. It is worth noting that such codifications of culture, nonetheless, have political power. The Janajati activists of the 1990s were using similar claims to make demands upon the state, as are contemporary Madhesi activists in Nepal (cf. Guneratne 2002; Gellner 2007; Hachhethu 2007; Shneiderman 2010).

2. Several other salient texts were also appearing about expatriates in this period, including a special issue of the journal The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences (Lambert 1966) and the work of Ruth and John Useem on third culture kids (Useem and Useem 1967).

3. On the limits of anthropology’s cultural relativism see Geertz, 1984.

4. For more on the intertwined definitions of the Nepali word bikas and the English word development, see Mary Des Chene, “In the Name of Bikas,” Studies in Nepali History and Society1: 2 (December 1996), as well as Pigg 1992.

5. Throughout, I use the phrase “permanent resident” to indicate a foreigner living in Nepal for a long time as a consequence of employment or out of some interest in the country.

6. For an extensive discussion of the distinction between mediating “between” and “among,” see Oppenheim 2007.

7. For Latour, one of the major innovations of mediation as a category is the ability to recognize not just people but objects as mediators. Thus, the beakers and test tubes of the science laboratory are not mere tools—mere extensions of the human agent— but part of a network of actants with a role to play in the experiment at hand. This important aspect of a theory of mediators will emerge as the importance of bureaucratic forms and physical buildings come to play a role in the construction of the expatriate project, but for now, I focus exclusively on human actants and their mediations.

8. While I will use Expatria throughout the book, I intend the term always to exert a bit of disjuncture and even discomfort. The tension that should be apparent is between the self-perception held by a group about their coherence as an entity and the risk of naturalizing and romanticizing “community” (Joseph 2002).

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