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The proliferation of men: markets, property, and seizure in Jordan

Hughes, Geoffrey Fitzgibbon (2016) The proliferation of men: markets, property, and seizure in Jordan. Anthropological Quarterly, 89 (4). pp. 1081-1108. ISSN 0003-5491

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Identification Number: 10.1353/anq.2016.0069


Spurred on by massive influxes of Palestinian refugees in previous decades, the 1970s and 1980s were marked by acute struggles over land and housing in Jordan. This article places those struggles within the context of a historical look at property in Jordan spanning from the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire to more recent waves of refugees from Syria and Iraq. Drawing on recent research in the social studies of finance and feminist substantivist critiques of “the economy,” I argue for more attention to the role of violence and war in the formation of markets and property regimes. Moving between a World Bank squatter settlement standardization program and interviews with contemporary planners, speculators, homeowners, and construction workers, I argue that the sublimation of violent contestation over property has required subtle but important transformations in gender norms that privilege new strategies of accumulation. Yet many of my interlocutors insist that this novel ‘proliferation of wealth’ remains subordinate to the role of large agnatic kin groups in the communal defense of land ('the proliferation of men'). Ongoing struggles between financiers, agnatic kin groups, and the Jordanian state illustrate the ways in which seizure is key to the work of market formation. [infrastructure, squatter settlements, settler colonialism, violence, kinship, masculinity]

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2016 Institute for Ethnographic Research (IFER)
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2016 11:54
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:22

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