Connectionwork: “Connection” in the practices and perspectives of Israeli neoforagers

Ariel Appel


Despite their centrality to foundational conceptions of relations in anthropology and their casual use in contemporary discourse, “connections” are only rarely problematized and reflected upon. “Connection” is a key emic concept among neoforagers who engage in practices typically associated with forager lifeways for the purpose of cultivating “deep connection to nature.” Through an ethnography of Israeli neoforagers, this article describes how “connection” acquires different meanings in different contexts and levels of experience, and how it significantly shapes neoforager praxis, epistemology, ontology, and ethics. Neoforagers transpose connection-oriented perspectives and terminology commonplace in the digitally connected society onto more-than-human encounters and relations. The term “connectionwork” is proposed to describe both their connection-oriented ontology and the continuous effort to properly connect and disconnect in the world. It is suggested that an analytical consideration of connections and connectionwork may further illuminate more-than-human sociality and relations in general.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/715391