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Fairies, Ghosts, and Santa Claus: Tinted Glasses, Fetishes, and the Politics of Seeing

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Fairies, Ghosts, and Santa Claus

Tinted Glasses, Fetishes, and the Politics of Seeing

Neriko Musha Doerr

278 pages, 2 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-687-0 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Not Yet Published (November 2022)

eISBN 978-1-80073-688-7 eBook Not Yet Published

View CartYour country: - edit  Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This is a unique book that is both theoretically lucid and draws together a very interesting set of seemingly incommensurable ethnographic examples and renders them comparable.” • Paul Manning, Trent University

“In its coherence and patience with dwelling on specific concepts and the optics of engagements with particular objects, the manuscript offers refreshing and trans-disciplinary insights into contemporary culture.” • John Borneman, Princeton University


Investigating the politics of seeing and its effects, this book draws on Slavoj Žižek’s notion of fetish and Walter Benjamin’s notion of the optical unconscious to offer newer concepts: “tinted glasses”, through which we see the world; “unit-thinking”, which renders the world as consisting of discrete units; and “coherants”, which help fragmented experiences cohere into something intelligible. Examining experiences at a Japanese heritage language school, a study-abroad trip to Sierra Leone, as well as in college classrooms, this book reveals the workings of unit-thinking and fetishism in diverse contexts and explores possibilities for social change.

Neriko Musha Doerr is Assistant Professor at Ramapo College. Her publications include Transforming Study Abroad: A Handbook (Berghahn, 2020), The Global Education Effect and Japan: Constructing New Borders and Identification Practices (Routledge, 2020) and The Romance of Crossing Borders: Studying and Volunteering Abroad (Berghahn, 2017, with Hannah Taïeb).

Subject: Anthropology (General)Cultural Studies (General)Theory and Methodology


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