Forms of proximity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The chapter looks at how two minority groups—the Grecanici in Italy and Pontians in Greece—relate to the category “minority” through navigation of multiple sources of knowledge and fluid proximities. It also asks what happens when there is too much proximity, when connection is unwanted or threatening, or when institutions operate through categories in search of security and systems of governance. There is often a grind between Serresian fluidity and ethnographic reality: categories of ordering and sorting, such as “minority,” “refugee,” and “ethnicity,” carry indexes of power and serve disciplinary functions. Thus, the chapter proposes that Serres be read in conversation with Sigmund Freud’s “narcissism of minor differences” to offer alternate angles on the same problem—how much connection is desirable, and where does categorization become an inevitable tool of governance for sorting and sanitizing difference?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPorous becomings
Subtitle of host publicationanthropological engagements with Michel Serres
EditorsAndreas Bandak, Daniel M. Knight
Place of PublicationDurham, NC
PublisherDuke University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781478059318
ISBN (Print)9781478030287, 9781478026051
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


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