“The Rise of Maternal Grandmother Child Care in Urban Chinese Families” by Vanessa Fong and Cong Zhang

Zhang, Cong, Vanessa L. Fong, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Niobe Way, Xinyin Chen, Huihua Deng, and Zuhong Lu. “The Rise of Maternal Grandmother Child Care in Urban Chinese Families.”  Journal of Marriage and Family  81, no. 5 (2019): 1174-1191

“Paradoxes of the Popular: Crowd Politics in Bangladesh” by Nusrat Chowdhury (Stanford 2019)


Few places are as politically precarious as Bangladesh, even fewer as crowded. Its 57,000 or so square miles are some of the world's most inhabited. Often described as a definitive case of the bankruptcy of postcolonial governance, it is also one of the poorest among the most densely populated nations. In spite of overriding anxiety of exhaustion, there are a few important caveats to the familiar feelings of despair—a growing economy, and an uneven, yet robust, nationalist sentiment—which, together, generate revealing paradoxes. In this book, Nusrat Sabina Chowdhury offers insight into what she calls "the paradoxes of the popular," or the constitutive contradictions of popular politics. The focus here is on mass protests, long considered the primary medium of meaningful change in this part of the world. Chowdhury writes provocatively about political life in Bangladesh in a rich ethnography that studies some of the most consequential protests of the last decade, spanning both rural and urban Bangladesh. By making the crowd its starting point and analytical locus, this book tacks between multiple sites of public political gatherings and pays attention to the ephemeral and often accidental configurations of the crowd. Ultimately, Chowdhury makes an original case for the crowd as a defining feature and a foundational force of democratic practices in South Asia and beyond.

“Stratified Lives: Family, Illegality, and the Rise of a New Educational Elite” by Leah Schmalzbauer and Andres Aleli

Schmalzbauer, Leah and Aleli Andres. 2019. Stratified Lives: Family, Illegality, and the Rise of a New Educational Elite. Harvard Educational Review, 89:  635-660.

Professor Deborah B. Gewertz and Frederick Errington, OCEANIA

November 3, 2019 - OCEANIA, Volume 89, Issue #3

“From Contentious to Contended: An ‘Event’‐ful Account of Karavaran History”


In 2019, we returned to Karavar, one of Papua New Guinea's Duke of York Islands. Since our last visit 28 years earlier, many with whom we worked had died. However, their children knew about us and were eager for our recollections about the lives and times of their parents. We, in turn, wished to learn about current lives and times. Our conversations, thus, often focused on multi‐generational changes. Significantly, most Karavarans thought that these changes had been for the better. Indeed, they seemed relatively satisfied with their present circumstances. In contrast, the Karavarans we had earlier known were frequently fired up with grievance, disappointment, possibility, and occasional exultation. Here we consider how contentiousness turned into contentment; how, what Karavarans had been, approached what they wanted to be. In understanding this historical process, we consider several ramifying ‘events’: happenings that Karavarans recognized, whether immediately or in retrospect, as interrupting business as usual and, ultimately, as challenging assumptions about the workings of their world.