Book – The art of making do in Naples

6 Mar

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University of Minnesota Press has recently published a fascinating anthropological book by Jason Pine: The art of making do in Naples. If you wish to read good old-fashioned ethnography, this is the book for you!

From the publisher website:

An American anthropologist traverses the contact zones between organized crime and everyday life in Naples

The Art of Making Do in Naples offers a riveting ethnography of the lives of men seeking personal sovereignty in a shadow economy dominated by violent organized crime networks. Jason Pine’s trenchant observations and his own improvised attempts at “making do” provide a fascinating look into the lives of people in the gray zones where organized crime blends into ordinary life.

Exploring musical performance as a pathway to the Neapolitan underworld, Jason Pine shows how the improbable becomes persuasive as he passionately embraces the challenges of uncertainty and vagueness that mark a highly stylized but passionate arena of social interaction. In the intense theatricality of their shape-shifting kaleidoscope of relationships and identities, Pine’s vivid interlocutors challenge the realism of anthropological description through an aesthetic realism of their own, one that dissolves the boundary between art and life.

Michael Herzfeld, author of Evicted from Eternity

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