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What a heerlijke happenstance that a red thread running through some of the following articles is subject formation, when our own editorial board here at Amsterdam Social Science has been experiencing its own remarkable transformation. The concept of subject formation is so amenable, so encompassing, that perhaps it is one of the best-traveled concepts across the social sciences. It becomes great fodder for interdisciplinary engagement. But when you catch yourself in the midst of ‘forming’ your own ‘subject,’ it can be even more fascinating. (….)
Representations of women’s roles in violent conflict largely assume that women are acted upon, rather than actors themselves. Main- stream news media generally perpetuate myths that women are weaker, more submissive, victimised and they act out of irrational, emotional urges based on their identities as mothers, wives, daughters and widows. The actions of Chechen women terrorists and the ways in which they are represented in mainstream media are indicative of this. Feminist analysis in this context is necessary in order to investigate these representations and the ways in which gender is implicated in the framing of violence and terrorist attacks. Expanding on this, I shall argue that post-colonial theory also offers a powerful lens through which to consider the ways in which agency is erased and silenced through the workings of both gender and race and ethnicity.
‘The modern woman’ has become a highly popular character in Indonesian post-New Order cinema (1998 – present day). This visual representation seems to mark a break with the explicitly ideological and ‘stereotypical’ images of women that could be observed in cultur- al artefacts produced during Suharto’s New Order regime (1966-1998). This paper will critically study this assumption through analysing the representation of ‘the modern woman’ in two post-New Order films. It will be suggested that, like the New Order images of women, the representation of ‘the modern woman’ in post-New Order cinema serves a specific ‘national function’ in the context of contemporary Indonesia. It will be proposed that it is exactly this ‘national function’ which renders ambivalent the ‘break’ with the New Order representations that she at first seems to signify.
The African continent has long been considered a place affected almost exclusively by internal, civil wars. However, at present, for the first time in its post-colonial history, Africa is significantly marked by interstate wars. Border security and maintaining neopatrimonial systems of governance appear to be important motives for this worrying develop- ment. The fact that stronger states increasingly prey upon fragile or alto- gether collapsed states have led me to call these conflicts ‘vulture wars’.
In this short essay, I examine, by means of a hermeneutical close reading, Walt Disney’s classic animated feature “The Little Mer- maid”. The aim is to illustrate Jacques Derrida’s contributions to social theory by utilizing his strategy of deconstruction, and to take seriously Durkheim’s instruction that social scientists should examine collective representations to uncover what collective beliefs, norms, and values un- derlie and inform a given society.
A variety of institutional and representational mechanisms are used in the construction of ‘international students’ and other ‘migrants’ or ‘ethnic minorities’ as two distinctive social categories. As part of these construction processes, the individuals affiliated with each group are located in different positions within the matrix of social power relations: they are granted with differential abilities to exercise their right to freedom of movement, and play different roles in the process of knowledge production. This article will explore how these processes occur in a specific context, through an autoethnographic account of the experiences of the author as an international student at the University of Amsterdam. This account suggests a thematic and methodological alternative to the safe position that the academic training as prospective migration scholars offers to students.