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PhD position in social and economic anthropology. Topic: "Inflation of ceremonial expenditures in Ce

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR8083-ISAOHA-002
Workplace : PARIS 06
Date of publication : Friday, September 27, 2019
Scientific Responsible name : Isabelle Ohayon (co-supervisor)
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 December 2019
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Expenditure dedicated to life-cycle ceremonies and festive sociability is a growing phenomenon among Central Asian populations (in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) that has taken ostentatious dimensions between the end of the 1960s and this day. These practices have taken on such proportion that they drove the States to legislate to mitigate their nefarious effect on the national economic development and the individual household budgets.
The thesis prepared in the framework of the ANR project "Shaping inequalities or building social bonds? Ceremonial economy under and after socialism in central Asia (1960s-2020s)" will aim to capture this phenomenon in a double dimension. It will address the ceremonial economy and its inflationary character as a driving force behind the reconfiguration of social bonds in Central Asian societies as it generates groups cohesion. But it will also seek to analyze how the escalation and social injunction to expenditure contribute to the making of social differentiation and ultimately to the actualization of hierarchies and solidarities, which reinforce statutory as well as economic and political inequalities.
The PhD student will carry out this survey on a field preferably located in Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan, including the observation of urban societies and cultures, which are rarely investigated by the academic literature. Their project will be able to focus on issues of their choice but will have to take into account the role and influence of the market in increasing ceremonial spending and question changes in consumption patterns and the relationship to the market economy and its institutions (competition from economic actors, money, bank). His project should also make it possible to understand how the ceremonial economy participates in the fabrication of micro-powers on the scale of the field observed.

Work Context

The PhD student will be affiliated with the Doctoral School of Social Anthropology and Ethnology at EHESS. He will be based in the CERCEC research laboratory in Paris. Their research project will be co-supervised by Florence Weber and Isabelle Ohayon. It will also receive the support of the multidisciplinary team of the ANR CREMONIAC project. At CERCEC, their work will be part of the research axis "Actions and Norms. Social and economic practices from the 17th century to the present day". The PhD student will be integrated into a multidisciplinary environment and will be invited to participate in the CERCEC activities (seminars, conferences, etc., including the seminar dedicated to the "Ceremoniac" project).
The human and technical resources necessary to carry out the thesis are planned and included in the budget (equipment, transport fees).

Constraints and risks

The PhD student will work under a three-year doctoral contract and must complete their doctoral thesis within this time period. The research schedule will be discussed with the thesis supervisors.
The PhD student may consider changing fields of study if political or administrative conditions so require. It will be assisted by the ANR project team in case of such difficulties. But the research will probably require at least 12 months of field work.
In the field, whatever the country or region chosen, the PhD student will work in collaboration with local colleagues, who can facilitate some procedures and access to resources.

Additional Information

The candidate must hold a master's degree in anthropology or sociology and have already conducted research on a Central Asian society. They must have recent field experience of approximately 5 months in a Central Asian region. The proposed research requires knowledge of one of the vernacular languages of Central Asia and Russian. Either of these languages may be in the process of being learned, but the candidate must be able to master at least one local language very well. The young researcher will have to show great motivation and an appetite for the field. They will conduct its own surveys but will contribute to multidisciplinary collective investigations with sociologists and socio-economists, and participate in a variety of research techniques (oral history, quantitative techniques). The thesis may be written in French or English, but the PhD student will have to work in a French-speaking environment. Applications should include a detailed CV; a one-page cover letter; a one-page summary of the master's thesis; the scores obtained in Master 2, a thesis project of 7 to 10 pages. The candidate has the possibility to attach a letter of recommendation but it is not mandatory. Recruiters may request a copy of the master's thesis.
The deadline for sending applications is 01/11/2019. Interviews with candidates will take place between 13 and 20 November 2019.

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