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No Ethnographic Playground: Mining Projects and Anthropological Politics. A Review Essay

  • Marina Welker (a1)

“Mining is no ethnographic playground,” Chris Ballard and Glenn Banks warned in their 2003 review of the anthropology of mining. The deep conflicts that characterize the industry find echoes in “a parallel war of sorts …waged within the discipline about the nature and scope of appropriate forms of engagement” (p. 289). This review essay examines how authors of recent ethnographic studies of large-scale, capital-intensive mining projects in Papua New Guinea, South Africa, and the United States have politically positioned themselves as researchers, and the insights into mining companies that derive from these situated perspectives.

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Chris Ballard , and Glenn Banks . 2003. Resource Wars: The Anthropology of Mining. Annual Review of Anthropology 32: 287313.

Kim Fortun . 2001. Advocacy after Bhopal: Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Jerry K. Jacka 2015. Alchemy in the Rain Forest: Politics, Ecology, and Resilience in a New Guinea Mining Area. Durham: Duke University Press.

Douglas Rogers . 2012. The Materiality of the Corporation: Oil, Gas, and Corporate Social Technologies in the Remaking of a Russian Region. American Ethnologist 39, 2: 284–96.

Douglas Rogers . 2015. Oil and Anthropology. Annual Review of Anthropology 44: 365–80.

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Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • ISSN: 0010-4175
  • EISSN: 1475-2999
  • URL: /core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history
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