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For the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases, the WHO recommended to rename transgender transidentity as “gender incongruence”, to remove it from the chapter of mental and behavioral disorders, and to put it in a new category titled “Conditions related to sexual health”. This should contribute to reduce stigmatisation while maintaining access to medical care. One argument in favor of depsychiatrisation is to demonstrate that essential features of gender identity disorders, namely psychological distress and functional impairment, are not necessarily reported by every transgender person, and may result from social rejection and violence rather than dysphoria itself. Initially confirmed in Mexico, these hypotheses were tested in a specific French medical context, where access to care does not require any prior mental health evaluation or diagnosis.
In 2017, 72 transgender persons completed retrospective interviews which focused on the period when they became aware that they might be transgender and perhaps would need to do something about it.
Results showed that psychological distress and functional impairment were not reported by every participant, that they may result from rejection and violence, and especially from rejection and violence coming from coworkers and schoolmates. Additional data showed that the use of health services for body transformation did not depend on distress and dysfunction. Finally, participants preferred ICD 11 to employ “transgender” or “transidentity” rather than “gender incongruence”.
Results support depsychiatrisation. They are discussed in terms of medical, ethical, legal, and social, added values and implications of depsychiatrisation.
Most research on the Gulf states focuses on oil and its impact on state power. The literature on rentier theory almost unanimously agrees that oil rents buy off citizens and lead to socio-political stagnation. Massive protests and government attempts to address citizen demands in Kuwait between 2011 and 2013 call into question that narrative. Since those protests, the Kuwaiti government has taken steps to increase its representation of public officials and accessibility in the public sphere, including by expanding the government's presence on Instagram. How have Kuwaiti citizens voiced their opinions to government accounts? And how has the government responded to online criticism?
This essay looks at the pattern of interactions between the state and Kuwaiti citizens on Twitter and Instagram using a content analysis of government accounts. The findings raise questions about the validity of the payoff thesis and understandings of consent and acquiescence. My analysis illustrates that there is a public dialogue that moves beyond the rigid structure of state and society by which the literature has traditionally understood Gulf rentier societies.
Radiocarbon dating of closely associated marine mollusk shells and terrestrial material (mammal bones or charred wood) collected from archaeological contexts in northern Atlantic Iberian coastal areas is used to quantify the marine 14C reservoir effect (ΔR) for the coastal waters off the Cantabrian coast of northern Iberia. For the first time, ΔR values were reliably determined for these coastal waters and, also for the first time, a ΔR was calculated for the Late Pleistocene in Atlantic Iberia. Pairs of coeval samples of different carbon reservoirs selected from Upper Paleolithic (Late Pleistocene) and Mesolithic (Early Holocene) contexts yielded ΔR weighted mean values of –117±70 14C yr and –105±21 14C yr, respectively. These values show oceanographic conditions characterized by a reduced offset between atmospheric and surface water 14C contents, suggesting a nonexistent or very weak upwelling and some stratification of the water column. Similar oceanographic conditions have been recorded in other areas of Atlantic Iberia during the Holocene, such as off Andalusian and northwestern Galician coasts. Results not only provide useful information on environmental conditions but also a framework to obtain more precise and reliable absolute chronologies for the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene in northern Iberia.
We investigate the physical conditions of the gas, atomic and molecular, in the filaments in the context of Photo-Dissociation Regions (PDRs) using the KOSMA-PDR mode of clumpy clouds. We also compare the [CII] vs. [NII] integrated intensity predictions in Abel et al. 2005 for HII regions and adjacent PDRs in the Galactic disk, and check for their applicability under the extreme physical conditions present in the GC. Our preliminary results show that observed integrated intensities are well reproduced by the PDR model. The gas is exposed to a relatively low Far-UV field between 102 – 103 Draine fields. The total volume hydrogen density is well constrained between 104 – 105 cm−3. The hydrogen ionization rate due to cosmic-rays varies between 10−15 and 4× 10−15 s−1, with the highest value ~ 10−14 s−1 found towards G0.07+0.04. Our results show that the line-of-sight contribution to the total distance of the filaments to the Arches Cluster is not negligible. The spatial distribution of the [CII]/[NII] ratio shows that the integrated intensity ratios are fairly homogeneously distributed for values below 10 in energy units. Calculations including variation on the [C/N] abundance ratio show that tight constraints on this ratio are needed to reproduce the observations.
To present and discuss the dietary guidelines issued by the Brazilian government in 2014.
The present paper describes the aims of the guidelines, their shaping principles and the approach used in the development of recommendations. The main recommendations are outlined, their significance for the cultural, socio-economic and environmental aspects of sustainability is discussed, and their application to other countries is considered.
Brazil in the twenty-first century.
All people in Brazil, now and in future.
The food- and meal-based Brazilian Dietary Guidelines address dietary patterns as a whole and so are different from nutrient-based guidelines, even those with some recommendations on specific foods or food groups. The guidelines are based on explicit principles. They take mental and emotional well-being into account, as well as physical health and disease prevention. They identify diet as having cultural, socio-economic and environmental as well as biological and behavioural dimensions. They emphasize the benefits of dietary patterns based on a variety of natural or minimally processed foods, mostly plants, and freshly prepared meals eaten in company, for health, well-being and all relevant aspects of sustainability, as well as the multiple negative effects of ready-to-consume ultra-processed food and drink products.
The guidelines’ recommendations are designed to be sustainable personally, culturally, socially, economically and environmentally, and thus fit to face this century. They are for foods, meals and dietary patterns of types that are already established in Brazil, which can be adapted to suit the climate, terrain and customs of all countries.
The way in which identity is understood in contemporary society is the result of the application of a double perspective composed of figures which do not simply add up but instead present us with a set of tensions: a reflection on the crisis in the forms of media discourse as the principal locus of present-day identity, and the urgent need to construct experiential discourses that can suture the deficit of legitimation in the anonymous discourses which address us […]. Narratives of identity come up against the fact that they are constructions in which there is not merely some mechanical actuation of codes but also a production of meaning. This is why there can be no question of extolling situations of marginality or exoticism as reservoirs of such narratives, but rather of analysing the extent to which the very brokenness of classic models of identity itself generates new narratives, in which modes of integration and rebellion are negotiated.
(Marinas 1995: 75–78)
The return of identity and the exhaustion of storytelling
Breaking with the sterile cycle that leads from the affirmation of identity as an immutable essence to its negation in the supposed inevitability of homogenization, contemporary thought proposes identity as a construction which emerges through narration. This new way of thinking about identity aims to account both for the changes which traverse mono-identities and the emergence of multiculturalities which exceed ethnic, racial and national categories.
In this chapter I address the meaning and representativity of the term ‘Cuban popular culture’ through two rather different test-cases, the first of which is the film Aventuras de Juan Quinquín (1967) by the Cuban film director Julio García-Espinosa (b. 1926), and the second the religious social phenomenon of santería. In each case I ask the question of the extent to which the energy of popular culture is co-opted into a new (revolutionary) value-system or whether, ultimately, it escapes that hermeneutic net. It is legitimate to argue that García-Espinosa's films as much as santería as we nowadays understand the phenomenon came into being as a result of the Cuban Revolution. The experience of a revolution in Cuba in 1959 was as decisive for its generation as the French Revolution had been for European intellectuals in the 1790s. As Hobsbawm puts it: ‘It was now known that social revolution was possible; that nationals existed as something independent of states, peoples as something independent of their rulers, and even that the poor existed as something independent of the ruling classes’ (1962: 91). Hobsbawm's last point about the ‘poor’ existing ‘as something independent of the ruling classes’ is particularly relevant to the Cuban context. Hugh Thomas provides a sense of Fidel Castro's particular personal impact among the popular sectors of Cuban society soon after the Revolution:
A month after Batista's flight, Castro had established a personal hold over the Cuban masses such as no Latin American leader had ever had. […] Castro appeared so often on the television screen (the State Department was already beginning to curse the salesmen of those 400,000 sets) that he resembled less a De Gaulle or a Kennedy (others who used television to effect) than a kind of permanent confessor or a resident revolutionary medicine man. (1971: 1193)
It is the ‘inter’ – the cutting edge of translation and negotiation, the in-between space – that carries the burden of the meaning of culture. It makes it possible to begin envisaging national, anti-nationalist histories of the ‘people’ [, … to] elude the politics of polarity and emerge as the others of our selves.
(Bhabha 1994: 38–9)
It should not be enough to oppose to the elitism of those positions most critical of mass culture, simply their symmetrical inversion under the figure of a neo-populism seduced by the charms of industrial culture.
(Sarlo 2001: 55)
‘Popular culture’ has always represented a fulcrum within social, cultural and anthropological discourses in Latin America. It has often been imagined as inhabiting interstitial and heterogeneous spaces that have represented a challenge to the dominant cultural paradigms of the ‘lettered city’ since at least Colonial times, and has repeatedly been mapped on to political, economic and even libidinal boundaries – between the country and the city, between the folk and the street, between the ‘masses’ and elite national/political structures. Yet since at least the turn of the millennium, concepts of the ‘folk’, the ‘mass', the ‘people’ and the ‘multitude’ have exploded in the face of new cultural and informational technologies, with cinematic, televisual, narrative, musical and cybernetic manifestations of popular culture at the forefront of social processes which mediate between the national and the global in a see-sawing climate of technocratic neoliberal economic ideology, financial crises marked by new and intensified social problems, boom and bust cycles in commodities and resource-extraction, and the rise of demagogic, mediatic neo-populisms.
In this chapter I would like to reflect on the ways in which the Magdalena river has figured both in the imaginary production of a Colombian national-popular body, and in its dissolution, and at key moments in Colombian history from the mid-nineteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first. I do so not to reclaim the river and its landscape, in a Romantic vein, as the wellspring of some authentic national ‘spirit’. Instead I am more interested in how instances of the articulation of such a thing occur in both real and imagined spaces where the nation's integrity is most questionable and the porosity of its borders most conspicuous.
As the principal route for the traffic of people, ideas and capital between colonial times and the early twentieth century, the Magdalena was for a long time central to the construction of the nation. Even today, as flows of global capital and information have displaced the organic motif of the river as an index of historical time and of the nation's temporal unfolding (see Appadurai 1996; Castells 2000), the Magdalena retains an affectively loaded presence in works of Colombian art and literature. Thus, in texts such as Fernando Vallejo's El río del tiempo (1998), where nature's collapse mirrors the entropy of Colombian public life, or films such as Bolívar soy yo (Jorge Alí Triana 2002), where history dissolves into the two dimensionality of the spectacle, the Magdalena continues to perform a labour of figuration, albeit of the nation's destiny as pipedream or curse.
This chapter discusses the work of internationally acclaimed, influential mixed-and multimedia artists who may be situated between the introduction in the 1990s in Cuba of the policy that granted artists the right to receive payment in convertible currency as well as to promote their work abroad freely, the introduction of a parallel currency for foreign visitors and investors (peso cubano convertible) and the ironic taking stock of the effects that such liberalization and commerce had on visual art practice referenced by the exhibition Cubanos convertibles in 2008. Its reflections play on the slippage between ‘convertible’ currency and convertible vehicles in relation to the value assigned to convertibility in aesthetic and cultural paradigms. These artists' deconstructivist strategies have sought to critique globalization while dismantling the complicitous ‘impurities’ and incongruities of their own productivity, seen through the distorting mirror of frustrated consumerism at home and the voracity of the free market paragons abroad that promote and consume their wares. The twisted skein of the analysis aims to discuss an interestingly impersonal (although archival) reflexive trend in contemporary art that, fibred by notions of social responsibility, participatory spectatorship and dissent, has explored the notion of ‘recycling’ as broadly inclusive of material disjecta with attendant ideas of ingestion and reconversion. Pieces have been predicated on the shift of emphasis from the phenomenology of ‘beholding’ to the involvement of the public as recipient, correspondent, interlocutor or user, with attention focused on the body of the observer and on experience.
At the beginning of his seminal social history of the Revolution, Alan Knight describes Mexico on the eve of the outbreak of the civil war:
Mexico of 1910 was, borrowing Lesley Simpson's phrase, ‘many Mexicos’, less a nation than a geographical expression, a mosaic of regions and communities, introverted and jealous, ethnically and physically fragmented, and lacking common national sentiments; these sentiments came after the Revolution and were […] its offspring rather than its parents. (Knight 1986: vol. 1, 2; emphasis added)
The formation of national sentiments has become a key theme in the burgeoning critical literature devoted to the politics of popular culture in the post-revolutionary period. Commentators have analysed how, in the aftermath of the profound upheavals of a war in which peasants, workers and the middle classes made, albeit uneasy, common cause, they came to unite under the rubric of shared symbols, icons and discourses experienced as national (Vaughan and Lewis 2006). Culture, particularly those forms and practices designated as popular –folk artisanship and music, and mass media forms, such as the radio and cinema – participated in the transformation of Mexico from ‘a regionally, culturally fragmented country into a modern nation-state with an inclusive and compelling national identity’ (López 2010: 2). Far from being a top-down process, the cultural-political construct that emerged in this period ‘was shaped, resisted, and ultimately negotiated by a multitude of actors and interests, and lo mexicano came to serve counterhegemonic impulses as well as regime projects’ (Joseph et al. 2001: 8).
In recent years there has been a veritable explosion in Internet use in Latin America; according to recent statistics, in South America alone there are over 143 million Internet users, or 36.5 per cent of the population, representing an increase of over 900 per cent between 2000 and 2009.1 Alongside this growth in Internet use there has been a concomitant growth in literary, socio-cultural and artistic works which make use of the new medium, including blogs, hypertext novels, hypermedia fiction, net.art, online performance art, hacktivism and tactical media, among many others. From the first forays of the Zapatistas into the uses of new media technologies for oppositional purposes, giving rise to the term ‘digital Zapatismo’ (Domínguez c.1998), to the complex negotiations of on- and offline activism of the self-styled Chicano ‘cyberpunk media artist’ Fran Ilich, through to the multiple uses of digital technologies in by the now large and growing community of net.artists in Latin America, new media technologies in Latin America have been put to use in innovative and challenging ways by local practitioners, and frequently involve a consideration for the socio-political consequences of such technologies and their potentially resistant reworking.
While the wide range of tactical media projects, net.art, game art, hacktivism and other genres within Latin American digital culture cannot be subsumed into one universal model, one striking feature that is common to many of them is the way in which they involve a critical engagement with the on/offline interface, and the resistant reuse of (globalized) digital technologies, two notions which will be explored in more depth below.
The philosopher Bernard Stiegler argues that the ever-increasing technologization of memory is complicit with the shift in the nature of power towards a ‘society of control’. Stiegler borrows this term from Gilles Deleuze who, in his essay of 1990 entitled ‘Postscript on a Society of Control’, himself borrowed the term from William Burroughs to describe a nightmarish extension of the logic of Foucauldian discipline that parallels a shift towards a social logic governed by the flexibility and mobility afforded by digital technologies. Rather than rely on Deleuze's definition of the term (which emphasizes the crisis of the spaces of disciplinary enclosure described by Michel Foucault in Discipline and Punish and their replacement by a flexible logic of ‘control’ or ‘modulation’) Stiegler argues that the society of control is characterized by the total automation of consumption. Rather than just the means of production, in the control society consumption and the network of desires and affective intensities that drive consumption have become automated.
Stiegler argues that the fundamental interdependence of memory and technology is the crucial battleground on which the transition towards the nightmarish vision of the control society is negotiated and contested. He starts from the premise that the externalization of memory in technological tools is constitutive of humanity. As Stiegler explains in his essay ‘Memory’, which introduces ideas explored in greater detail in his three-volume Technics and Time, he uses the term ‘hypomnesis’ to describe the technical exteriorization of memory, which he opposes to the act of embodied memory ‘anamnesis’.