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Good Bureaucrats and God: Ethical Labor in an Irrigation Bureaucracy

Water Ways: New Social Science, Science Studies, and Environmental Approaches to Water
Monday, March 14, 2022
12:00-3:00 PM
Virtual
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
Building: Institute For Social Research
Event Link:
Website:
Event Type: Presentation
Tags: Anthropology, climate, Environment, environmental, Ethics, Free, Global And Transnational, International, Law, Middle East, Middle East Studies, Multidisciplinary Design, Muslim, Pakistan, Political Science, Politics, Religion, Religious Studies, Research, Social Sciences, Sociology
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Institute for Social Research, Graham Sustainability Institute, Department of Middle East Studies, Science, Technology & Society, School for Environment and Sustainability, Department of Anthropology, Modern Middle Eastern Studies (MoMES), Civil and Environmental Engineering