Ken Routon
  • New Orleans, LA
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Ken Routon
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University of New Orleans

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Foreign Perfume and Other Fetishes, Part III

It’s interesting in light of this to compare David Graeber’s and Peter Pel’s (1998) work on the fetish. Although both Graeber and Pels acknowledge all the same features that distinguish the fetish, they seem to reach strikingly different conclusions. In Graeber’s discussion, the fetish illustrates the tendency of human groups to treat their own social creations as somehow having power them rather than the other way around. His main point about the circulation of objects of “alien” or foreign…


Posted on March 31, 2011 at 4:05pm — 18 Comments

Foreign Perfume and Other Fetishes, Part II

It would seem that the manipulation of objects of alien value – or, the making and manipulation of images of foreign peoples and things (and I may be confusing here two issues that are best treated separately) – might serve at least two possible functions, both the flipside of the other. In both cases, it would appear that what we’re really talking about is the capacity of foreign objects/images to provoke estrangement (even if the subject of this estrangement may differ in each case). If…


Posted on March 22, 2011 at 4:46pm — 2 Comments

Foreign Perfume and Other Fetishes, Part I

Foreign Perfume and Other Fetishes, Part I

Some Notes on the Senses and Commodity Fetishism

There’s a Cuban joke that goes something like this: While visiting a local secondary school, Fidel turns to one of the children and, patting them affectionately on the head, says, “Tell me, son, what do you want to be when you grow up?” The child ponders the question for a moment but soon looks up and says, enthusiastically, “A…


Posted on March 15, 2011 at 12:24am — 7 Comments

Media Fictions and the Menace of Facts

Lately, I’ve been considering how I might combine three of my great interests – ethnography, journalism, and storytelling – to forge an alternative career path for myself. Given my recent preoccupations, Nathan Dobson’s short but thought provoking analysis on the role of “facts” in journalism caught my attention.…


Posted on March 10, 2011 at 10:30pm — 8 Comments

Comment Wall (3 comments)

You need to be a member of Open Anthropology Cooperative to add comments!

At 4:41pm on March 15, 2011, John McCreery said…
Interesting stuff you are thinking about. Do keep in touch.
At 7:13pm on March 14, 2011, Neil L. Whitehead said…
...good to connect...
At 6:21pm on March 9, 2011, Justin Shaffner said…
Welcome to the OAC, Ken! Good to see you here!


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