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In this piece, I use consumption as a lens to argue how urban, middle-class Indians in their middle and later ages are emerging as a distinctive consumer society while rewriting the scripts of growing old in India. This cultural shift is happening at a time when novel modes of ageing are imagined against the backdrop of transnational family arrangements, market-based care and a quest for vitality and autonomy among older Indians, altering the cultural continuities of intergenerational relationships. I show how consumption as a cultural force both expands the expressive capabilities of older persons but, at the same time, imposes disciplinary discourses around the family and social relationships. Overall, I critically reflect on what the ‘downward blurring’ of the ageing self does to the contemporary frameworks of intergenerational relationships in India. I conclude by discussing both the possibility and the (cultural) limit of theories developed in the industrialised West to capture the shifting realities of transitional societies.

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This article aims to explore the appeal of racist narratives and how they are used in populist politics to manipulate and exploit, leading to a rise in xenophobia and race hate crimes. Beneath the surface of the rhetoric is a predictable constellation of thoughts and feelings that create a racist imagination whose emotional atmosphere is melancholic and potentially murderous. The entangling of grief with racism is exploited through political messaging which aims to create false narratives of hope that attempt to bring to life a regressive fantasy of a return to an idealised past, into the material reality of the present by racialising others and treating them with impunity. I consider the extent to which we can learn about the challenges of engaging with these forces by turning to the experience of working clinically with these states of mind to translate a psychoanalytic sensibility to the political, one that is sensitive to the complexity and conflation of race, class and biography.

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Why do some people racially abuse others? In this article, I revisit fieldwork conducted in the early 2000s in Stoke-on-Trent in North Staffordshire with people implicated in racially harassment and racially aggravated crimes. I consider how Keval’s (2024) concept of a ‘haunting melody of loss’ can be used to capture the psychosocial dynamics apparent among people who directed their animosity towards migrant and minority ethnic groups in the midst of their own experiences of loss of face, reputation, health, financial security, control and a sense of community. The article contemplates how such dynamics subsequently became more pervasive features of the British political land, capitalised on by parties of the political right and far-right in the decade that followed. It also invites psychosocial reflections on the harms caused to migrant and minority ethnic populations demonised, misleadingly, as to blame for the losses of encountered by large sections of the ethnic majority white population and notes the enduring dangers cultivated by misdirecting the grief of loss posed by populist politics.

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Mental problems in young people are increasing and recovery proposals from classic biomedical models are not always effective. One of the responses to this has been the Mutual Help Groups, groups made up of people who meet periodically to help each other based on principles such as trust, transversality, the creation of support networks and new possibilities for psychosocial recovery. These possibilities arise from the same people, with the help of others, to have new ways of understanding reality and approaching it, which is called the agency of possibilities. This research aims to understand the contribution that Mutual Aid Groups make to young people’s mental health through group agency. For this, an analysis is carried out through the ‘Event’, an element of the pluralistic ontology of neo-monadism, which is defined as the unification of individualities based on incalculable networks that overlap with each other to generate new questions and new answers. Using thematic analysis as an analysis tool, in-depth interviews were conducted with six young people with mental problems belonging to a Mutual Help Group. There it was found that intentional states broadly explain world-to-mind, mind-to-world and mind-to-mind functional relationships and interactions, which contributes to ontological pluralism as a new paradigm for addressing social problems. Mental health care has long sought to control people. In this sense, negative adaptation guarantees recovery in vain. On the other hand, positive adaptation, from desires, from heterogeneous forces and beliefs, could be a more effective recovery path.

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The West Lothian shale bings are large deposits of spent-shale rock in Scotland, created by the first industrial scale oil refineries which operated in the region from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. Through its visual format, this gallery essay eschews formal investigative strategies to break with previous scholarship and interpret the bings as structures with their own construction history. Images of their current shape have been substituted for plans, photos and representations of them in development, to highlight the various logics and designs that converged within their construction. First-hand accounts from archived interviews have also been used to integrate the sensory and personal information that animated the bings as they were built. Social production is centred in this way to undermine an ideological narrative that sees waste as either aberrant corollary to intensive industry, or a neutral object without history. Analysing each image of the bings reveals intent, calculation and purpose which are pointedly incongruous with the view of waste as monolithic, accidental or unconscious. Such interpretations must be challenged because they obfuscate the necessarily profound impact of capital upon environmental history, as well as denuding ecology of its social aspects.

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This article examines the dialogic relationship between emotional reflexivity and emotional regime as it explores ‘the hukou puzzle’ in China. In theory, migrants in small- to medium-scale cities can transfer their hukou (household registration) to urban areas, yet are unwilling to do so in practice. Relying on six months’ ethnographic fieldwork and 60 in-depth interviews with ethnic migrant performers, this article argues that previous theorisation of the hukou puzzle neglects emotions and assumes migrants are making rational choices to maximise their profits. In reality, different emotions and feelings inform migrants’ reflexivity regarding an opaque migration regime, which highlights the crucial role of how they exercise their reflexivity in emotional and relational ways. Moreover, a neoliberal emotional regime at the Chinese societal level – which emphasises positive energy, happiness and ‘the China Dream’  – also significantly shapes migrants’ emotional reflexivity. This article points to the need to further explore the intersection between emotional reflexivity and emotional regime in relation to migration.

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