"Systems of labor migration involve economic forces inviting and even requiring the cheap labor of migrants at the same time that political forces ban migrants from entering the country. Such systems must include a set of political and legal mechanisms that presuppose that a migrant is without citizenship rights and has only limited power in the state of employment. The reproduction of a system of migrant labor hinges on the inability of the migrants, as individuals or as a group, to influence the institutions that subordinate them to the other fractions of the labor force and to the employer."
Fresh Fruit Broken Bodies, 13
"That said, were I to carefully craft my philosophy of being, I’d suggest a kind of realism that says there are things that actually exist – a reality – is not incompatible with the possibility that everyone is in their own world. It seems to be me that it may be the case that there are noumena in the Kantian sense of “things in themselves,” – the really real – but that these are never experienced or known directly in themselves by anything human or otherwise. This would mean that everything is, in a sense, creating its own world based on its own capacities to translate information from other beings and other entities into a world that it inhabits."
"This line of thought suggests that cultures are composed of multiple realities, counterposed against one another like semantic domains and, through this juxtaposition, defining each other. The pattern that results from these juxtapositions, the culture, would appear to be in no sense a fixed entity - certainly not something you could capture in a butterfly net - but a pattern whose very existence shifts with each new arrangement among the social realities that compose it. Only when we, as participants or ethnographers, counterpose it against some other tenuous pattern, such as Anglo-American culture, does it achieve an existence that resembles a fixed thing. In that instance, as in the case of its component realities, we bring it about through our public discourse and endow it with a worldliness so that we may be."
Miles Richardson, “Being-in-the-Market Versus Being-in-the-Plaza”
After not training Muay Thai for three months, I feel almost completely alienated from the sport. Instead of feeling excited when I watch fights, I feel fear - fear of the pain that must result from limbs colliding with one another with such strong momentum. I’m suspicious of my ability to accurately gauge who is winning a match (though I was never great at that), and even more scary is my apparent lack of desire to do so, much less have any appreciation for the brilliant techniques that are being displayed. But, maybe I needed the break. Maybe I needed to step away from the sport for a bit to be able to enjoy it again. When I return to the gym tonight, I hope that I will feel less pressure to be the best one there. I hope that I will be able to experience the the joy that comes from doing something that I love.
"My friends in Rowshan often told me that true Muslims (sahi musulmanan) are not those who are regular in their prayers or strict in keeping their fasts. Rather, it is those who have ‘souls that burn for others’ (zhan pulu’ak) and whose ‘hearts are full of love and affection’ (hardi muhabatochen khuloos tip) who are true Muslims and real human beings. Compassionate self-sacrifice for others is seen as being central to what it means to be a ‘good Muslim.’ There is a general level of consensus amongst the villagers that balanced and compassionate emotions lie at the heart of fully realised Muslim selfhood."
Magnus Marsden, Living Islam: Muslim Religious Experience in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier