Special Postgraduate Issue

Guest Editors: Emma O’Driscoll, Jeremy Brice and Erica Borgstrom

Guest Book Reviews Editor: Damien Boutillon

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Research Articles

Setting the Syrian Stage: A case study of Dance and Power    3-12

Amilla Maria Anthi Kastrinou Theodoropoulou


This article first presents the Syrian stage of official dance representations as portrayed by the Ba’thist regime. Second, it criticises the official ideology on the basis of anthropological/ philosophical understandings. Third it shows how criticisms are always already embedded within the official ideological discourse. The aim, thus, is twofold: on one hand it strives to underlie the necessity for more political ethnographic studies of dance, and on the other, it aspires to show how, in the context of the ideological populism of the Syrian regime, alternative readings resisting and challenging authoritarian hegemonic ideological writings, are already embedded not only in the ideological contradictions of the official portrayal, but even in the syntax and the grammar the official rhetoric employs.

Applying the ‘Uncomfortable Science’: the Role of Anthropology in Development    13-21

Emma O’Driscoll


This article will evaluate the potential of anthropological contributions to international development.  I hope that by tracing applied anthropology to its colonial roots, examining the inherent contradictions of applying anthropology to development issues, and anticipating what the future holds for both disciplines I will demonstrate that, despite significant obstacles, anthropology does have a significant role to play in development.  

Advocacy in Anthropology: Active engagement or passive scholarship?    22-31

Peter Kellett


In this paper I will examine issues of advocacy in anthropology in a number of ways.  I will begin by discussing terminology and then raise some of the key questions relevant to this topic.  These will then be explored in depth by taking two contrasting cases where anthropologists have adopted radically different positions about the appropriateness of advocacy.  Finally, the paper ends with some reflections on the relevance of this debate for 21st century anthropology.

L’engagement  du style Romen dans l’esprit du spectateur : d’un icônisme statique à la mobilité des registres    32-56

Damien Boutillon


This paper is the third chapter of the dissertation Mobilités de textes et reconnaissance corporelle: les représentations d’un ethos tzigane au théâtre Romen de Moscou presented at the School of Advanced Social studies (EHESS) in September 2007. The object in this section is to engage with the interplay observed between the actors at the Dramaturgical-Satyrical Theatre ROMEN, a Muscovite Gypsy performance arts centre. Drawing on data acquired through interviews and observation of the plays, I propose that the performers create a community of shared knowledge during the play, community in which the audience is awarded a certain degree of language and historical competency. This is done through a skilful management of stagecraft, and the presentation of particular visual and auditive 'Gypsy' references in the play. I then contend that the artists withdraw and/or limit this awarded 'competency' in order to enhance/diminish the meanings that the drama (story) has set forth about the social life of Gypsies in Russia. This systematic play on references and audience competency allows the artists a greater degree of freedom as to their craft, and contributes to the illusion of natural, instinctive, Gypsy performance.

Towards a Qualitative Follow-Up of a Randomised Trial on the Post-Natal Ward    57-62

Catherine Taylor


This paper provides a summary of a proposed PhD project that will be attached to a large randomised control trial (RCT) designed to explore an intervention on the post-natal ward.  The research will expand on the findings of the NECOT (North-East Cot) trial by adding a qualitative dimension.  The main aims of the NECOT trial are to examine the impact of different cot types used on the post-natal ward and their effect on breastfeeding duration.  It is hypothesised that the use of side-car cribs will result in longer duration of breastfeeding than standard practice rooming-in.  This project follows-up on the NECOT findings by examining the impact of the intervention on mothers’ breastfeeding behaviour and infant sleep location once they have returned home.  Additionally, the acceptability of side-car cribs among the post-natal ward staff will be assessed in order to identify factors that may increase or impede their future use within hospital maternity wards.

Retention in Randomised Trials Project    63-70

Dawn Mee


Research within different disciplines has been conducted on ways of reducing attrition (drop out rates) in randomized control led trials, for example: relationship based interventions (such as Cooley et al. 2003); incentive based interventions (for example Martinson et al. 2000); and prepaid and promised monetary incentives (see Church 1993; Singer et al. 2000).  The Retention in Randomised Trials Project (RRTP) examines these types of interventions from an anthropological perspective, where both biological (in particular game theory and reciprocal altruism) and social (for instance, gift exchange and building obligations) theories can apply. The study will use a subset of the participants recruited for the North-East Cot Trial (NECOT). These interventions will test the impact of an enhancement on the normal procedures, such as providing the participants with a £10 thank you gift voucher on completion of the trial, to be adopted in the NECOT trial. Furthermore, prepaid and promised incentives will also be assessed. The normal NECOT procedures will apply to the control group and there will be no further enhancement for this group; each intervention group however will receive either a relationship based or incentive based enhancement.

Book Reviews

Jasna Èapo Žmegaè. 2007. Strangers Either Way: The Lives of Croatian Refugees in Their New Home. New York: Bergham.    71-72

Reviewed by David Henig

Kneebone, Susan and Felicity Rawlings-Sanei eds. 2007. New regionalism and asylum seekers. Challenges ahead. Berghahn Books Ltd.    73-5

Reviewed by Damien Boutillon

Lawrence, Christopher M. 2007. Blood and Oranges: Immigrant Labor and European Markets in Rural Greece. Oxford: Berghahn Books.   76-77

Reviewed by Maria Kastrinou-Theodoropoulou

Nonini, Donald M. ed. 2007. The global idea of "the commons". New York: Berghahn Books.    78-80

Reviewed by Rachel Douglas-Jones

Conference Review

Reflections on the International Conference on African Culture and Development (ICACD) 2008 – What culture?    81-85

Erica Borgstrom