Empire Is in the Details

American Ethnologist, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 593-611, 2006

19 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2013 Last revised: 11 Sep 2013

See all articles by Catherine Lutz

Catherine Lutz

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

Recent writing that identifies the United States as an empire has focused overwhelmingly on its political-economic underpinnings, without questioning the cultural making of value or examining empire as more than an elite project. This writing has not drawn on ethnographic work that would reshape it in more adequate, less economistic forms, make the human face and frailties of imperialism more visible, and, in so doing, make challenges to imperial practice more likely. Focusing on military institutions, and via some examples from U.S. imperial projects in the Philippines and elsewhere, I suggest where ethnographies of empire might be done and what vulnerabilities they might explore.

Keywords: empire, imperialism, United States, military, Philippines

Suggested Citation

Lutz, Catherine, Empire Is in the Details (2006). American Ethnologist, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 593-611, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2321885

Catherine Lutz (Contact Author)

Brown University - Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs ( email )

111 Thayer Street
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912-1970
United States

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