note on nAmes
The ethical rule of thumb on ethnographic naming practices
is to give pseudonyms to anyone who is not a public figure.
The practice requires differentiating between names that are
easily substituted and therefore irrelevant to the analysis,
names that are already “public” and therefore either impos-
sible to conceal or integral to the analysis, and names that are
associated with copyright and must by law be used as mark-
ers of ownership of other words. This book, however, com-
plicates this rule immensely. It follows the historical con-
struction of two discursive communities we call publics, and
the most important characters in it are men and women who
straddle the shifting border between them. Decisions about
which names to use or conceal require, therefore, judgments
about the specific publics in which each name commonly
circulates. Moreover, this text is not isolated, but is already
implicated in networks of texts which address their audi-
ences under quite different circumstances than academic
publishing. Paraguay’s national newspapers and several ac-
tivist blogs covered events described in this book, using both
the names of the participants and the names of the anthro-
pologist who happened to be standing by. Given this his-
tory, pseudonyms would offer only a thin veil of anonymity
to many of the key characters in my book.
I have therefore settled on a far more idiosyncratic nam-
ing practice. With the permission of my primary informants
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