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Fluid Signs

Author: E. Valentine Daniel
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520061675
Size: 66.21 MB
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"Daniel is brilliant, and this work is the product of all his powers of imagination and expression. He is also a flawless scholar: bilingual, so that his translations are accurate; gifted, so that they are charming; well-read, so that his discussions are set in the full context of previous scholarship; and very, very funny, so that his depictions of the quandaries of his informants, as well as himself, are a joy to read."—Wendy O'Flaherty

Public Faces Private Lives

Author: Mattison Mines
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520914599
Size: 25.99 MB
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Individuality is often viewed as an exclusively Western value. In non-Western societies, collective identities seem to eclipse those of individuals. These generalities, however, have overlooked the importance of personal uniqueness, volition, and achievement in these cultures. As an anthropologist in Tamil Nadu, South India, Mattison Mines found private and public expressions of self in all sectors of society. Based on his twenty-five years of field research, Public Faces, Private Voices weaves together personal life stories, historical description, and theoretical analysis to define individuality in South Asia and to distinguish it from its Western counterpart. This engaging and controversial book will be of great interest to scholars and students working in anthropology, psychology, sociology, South Asian history, urban studies, and political science.

Postkoloniale Traditionen

Author: Daniel Münster
Publisher: transcript Verlag
ISBN: 3839405386
Size: 48.56 MB
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»Postkoloniale Traditionen« verbindet die Ansätze der postkolonialen Theorie und der Subaltern Studies mit einer modernen Ethnografie des ländlichen Südindiens. Dabei wird ein südindisches Dorf als ein Ort der Realisierung einer alternativen nicht-westlichen Moderne beschrieben. Zwei Merkmale der indischen Moderne werden herausgearbeitet: ihre Postkolonialität - das allgegenwärtige Erbe des Kolonialismus - und ihre Traditionalität - ihre Verhandlung in nicht-westlichen Idiomen. Die postkoloniale Moderne wird in dieser Dorfmonografie auf mikro- und infrapolitische Prozesse bezogen und somit einer ethnografischen Repräsentation zugänglich gemacht.

Birth On The Threshold

Author: Cecilia Van Hollen
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520223592
Size: 13.45 MB
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Extrait de la couverture : "Even childbirth is affected by globalization - and in India, as elsewhere, the trends is away from home birhts assisted by midwives towards hospital births that increasingly rely on new technologies. and yet, as this work of critical feminist ethnography clearly demonstrates, as biomedical models of childbirth spread throughout the globe, they fuse with local practices to create distinctive forms of modern birth. Through vivid description and animyted dialogue, this book conveys the birth stories of the women of Tamil Nadu in their own voices. Cecilia Van Hollen uses these stories to explore larger questions about how the structures of colonialism and postcolonial international and national development have helped to shape the form and meaning of birth for Indian women today."

Charred Lullabies

Author: E. Valentine Daniel
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400822034
Size: 58.53 MB
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How does an ethnographer write about violence? How can he make sense of violent acts, for himself and for his readers, without compromising its sheer excess and its meaning-defying core? How can he remain a scholarly observer when the country of his birth is engulfed by terror? These are some of the questions that engage Valentine Daniel in this exploration of life and death in contemporary Sri Lanka. In 1983 Daniel "walked into the ashes and mortal residue" of the violence that had occurred in his homeland. His planned project--the study of women's folk songs as ethnohistory--was immediately displaced by the responsibility that he felt had been given to him, by surviving family members and friends of victims, to recount beyond Sri Lanka what he had seen and heard there. Trained to do fieldwork by staying in one place and educated to look for coherence and meaning in human behavior, what does an anthropologist do when he is forced by circumstances to keep moving, searching for reasons he never finds? How does he write an ethnography (or an anthropography, to use the author's term) without transforming it into a pornography of violence? In avoiding fattening the anthropography into prurience, how does he avoid flattening it with theory? The ways in which Daniel grapples with these questions, and their answers, instill this groundbreaking book with a rare sense of passion, purpose, and intellect.

The Self Possessed

Author: Frederick M. Smith
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231510659
Size: 11.84 MB
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The Self Possessed is a multifaceted, diachronic study reconsidering the very nature of religion in South Asia, the culmination of years of intensive research. Frederick M. Smith proposes that positive oracular or ecstatic possession is the most common form of spiritual expression in India, and that it has been linguistically distinguished from negative, disease-producing possession for thousands of years. In South Asia possession has always been broader and more diverse than in the West, where it has been almost entirely characterized as "demonic." At best, spirit possession has been regarded as a medically treatable psychological ailment and at worst, as a condition that requires exorcism or punishment. In South (and East) Asia, ecstatic or oracular possession has been widely practiced throughout history, occupying a position of respect in early and recent Hinduism and in certain forms of Buddhism. Smith analyzes Indic literature from all ages-the earliest Vedic texts; the Mahabharata; Buddhist, Jain, Yogic, Ayurvedic, and Tantric texts; Hindu devotional literature; Sanskrit drama and narrative literature; and more than a hundred ethnographies. He identifies several forms of possession, including festival, initiatory, oracular, and devotional, and demonstrates their multivocality within a wide range of sects and religious identities. Possession is common among both men and women and is practiced by members of all social and caste strata. Smith theorizes on notions of embodiment, disembodiment, selfhood, personal identity, and other key issues through the prism of possession, redefining the relationship between Sanskritic and vernacular culture and between elite and popular religion. Smith's study is also comparative, introducing considerable material from Tibet, classical China, modern America, and elsewhere. Brilliant and persuasive, The Self Possessed provides careful new translations of rare material and is the most comprehensive study in any language on this subject.

Wombs In Labor

Author: Amrita Pande
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231538189
Size: 13.29 MB
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Surrogacy is India's new form of outsourcing, as couples from all over the world hire Indian women to bear their children for a fraction of the cost of surrogacy elsewhere with little to no government oversight or regulation. In the first detailed ethnography of India's surrogacy industry, Amrita Pande visits clinics and hostels and speaks with surrogates and their families, clients, doctors, brokers, and hostel matrons in order to shed light on this burgeoning business and the experiences of the laborers within it. From recruitment to training to delivery, Pande's research focuses on how reproduction meets production in surrogacy and how this reflects characteristics of India's larger labor system. Pande's interviews prove surrogates are more than victims of disciplinary power, and she examines the strategies they deploy to retain control over their bodies and reproductive futures. While some women are coerced into the business by their families, others negotiate with clients and their clinics to gain access to technologies and networks otherwise closed to them. As surrogates, the women Pande meets get to know and make the most of advanced medical discoveries. They traverse borders and straddle relationships that test the boundaries of race, class, religion, and nationality. Those who focus on the inherent inequalities of India's surrogacy industry believe the practice should be either banned or strictly regulated. Pande instead advocates for a better understanding of this complex labor market, envisioning an international model of fair-trade surrogacy founded on openness and transparency in all business, medical, and emotional exchanges.

Sacred Pain

Author: Ariel Glucklich
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199839492
Size: 41.62 MB
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Why would anyone seek out the very experience the rest of us most wish to avoid? Why would religious worshipers flog or crucify themselves, sleep on spikes, hang suspended by their flesh, or walk for miles through scorching deserts with bare and bloodied feet? In this insightful new book, Ariel Glucklich argues that the experience of ritual pain, far from being a form of a madness or superstition, contains a hidden rationality and can bring about a profound transformation of the consciousness and identity of the spiritual seeker. Steering a course between purely cultural and purely biological explanations, Glucklich approaches sacred pain from the perspective of the practitioner to fully examine the psychological and spiritual effects of self-hurting. He discusses the scientific understanding of pain, drawing on research in fields such as neuropsychology and neurology. He also ranges over a broad spectrum of historical and cultural contexts, showing the many ways mystics, saints, pilgrims, mourners, shamans, Taoists, Muslims, Hindus, Native Americans, and indeed members of virtually every religion have used pain to achieve a greater identification with God. He examines how pain has served as a punishment for sin, a cure for disease, a weapon against the body and its desires, or a means by which the ego may be transcended and spiritual sickness healed. "When pain transgresses the limits," the Muslim mystic Mizra Asadullah Ghalib is quoted as saying, "it becomes medicine." Based on extensive research and written with both empathy and critical insight, Sacred Pain explores the uncharted inner terrain of self-hurting and reveals how meaningful suffering has been used to heal the human spirit.

Capricious Worlds

Author: John Chr Knudsen
Publisher: LIT Verlag Münster
ISBN: 9783825881085
Size: 20.47 MB
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Capricious Worlds covers a period of 20 years of exile. Through the life journeys of Vietnamese refugees, the book presents a world rich in experience and wisdom, where the will to survive is complemented by the skills to do so. Individuals must learn to conquer systems that transform human beings into numbers, and men, women and children into de-personalized figures. The transformations render an unsettling peace that refugees struggle against, inspired by a search for recognition, a search not only for what is lost, but also for what might yet be. The book is about refugees en route to, and in, Norway. It also speaks to the challenges of being exiled in general: a reality for 40 million refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide.