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Presented By: Institute for Social Research

Good Bureaucrats and God: Ethical Labor in an Irrigation Bureaucracy

Water Ways: New Social Science, Science Studies, and Environmental Approaches to Water

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Good Bureaucrats and God: Ethical Labor in an Irrigation Bureaucracy
Maira Hayat, Notre Dame University

Monday, Mar. 14 via Zoom: Open Talks will be held noon to 1pm, and the Grad Workshops will be held 1 to 3pm.

Abstract:
Bureaucracies tend to feature in political and social theory as sites of structural violence, patriarchy, sovereign excess, or foils to ethical enterprise. This talk, however, argues for the unique importance of studying bureaucracy as a site of ethical laboring. Tracing the specific, surprising and sophisticated ways in which God participates in everyday bureaucratic practice in an Irrigation Department in Pakistan, it shows how bureaucrats’ attempts to be “good Muslims” can produce “good bureaucrats.” The yield is a deeper understanding of how state officials experience and navigate the pull of the ‘private’ in everyday ‘public’ waterswork, and how this in turn determines the service they provide. In foregrounding ethical laboring, the talk brings together the anthropology of bureaucracy, ethics, and secularity towards newer configurations.

This is a part of the Research Center for Group Dynamics (RCGD) Winter 2022 Series - "Water Ways: New Social Science, Science Studies, and Environmental Approaches to Water"

This is also a part of the class Anthrcul 558 section 002

Livestream Information

 Livestream
March 14, 2022 (Monday) 12:00pm

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