Norms and Illegality
Intimate Ethnographies and Politics
Norms and Illegality: Intimate Ethnographies and Politics explores liminal and illegal practices in relation to political control and cultural normativity. The contributors draw on years of ethnographic experiences in Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Italy, Madagascar, Mali, Philippines, and Thailand to study the contradictions of what is legal and illegal. They explore the production of illegal subjects by the state, the creation of illegal and normative values by liminal and illegal actors, and the mutual entanglements of legal and illegal in the public domains of markets and trade networks. This volume shows that criminalization policies are not necessarily oriented toward erasing crime. Instead, the contributors maintain that opaque spaces ensure the efficacy of control and outwardly conform to the rhetoric and ethics of global neoliberalism. Within these contexts, the contributors shed light on moral economies and frames of value entailed in systems of representation that have been set up by individuals who are deemed illegal, liminal, or deviant in their confrontations with the state. This book is recommended for students and scholars of anthropology, political science, and urban studies.