Charred Lullabies

Author: E. Valentine Daniel
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400822034
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Isma ili Modern

Author: Jonah Steinberg
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807899458
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The Isma'ili Muslims, a major sect of Shi'i Islam, form a community that is intriguing in its deterritorialized social organization. Informed by the richness of Isma'ili history, theories of transnationalism and globalization, and firsthand ethnographic fieldwork in the Himalayan regions of Tajikistan and Pakistan as well as in Europe, Jonah Steinberg investigates Isma'ili Muslims and the development of their remarkable and expansive twenty-first-century global structures. Led by a charismatic European-based hereditary Imam, Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, global Isma'ili organizations make available an astonishing array of services--social, economic, political, and religious--to some three to five million subjects stretching from Afghanistan to England, from Pakistan to Tanzania. Steinberg argues that this intricate and highly integrated network enables a new kind of shared identity and citizenship, one that goes well beyond the sense of community maintained by other diasporic populations. Of note in this process is the rapid assimilation in the postcolonial period of once-isolated societies into the intensively centralized Isma'ili structure. Also remarkable is the Isma'ilis' self-presentation, contrary to common characterizations of Islam in the mass media, as a Muslim society that is broadly sympathetic to capitalist systems, opposed to fundamentalism, and distinctly modern in orientation. Steinberg's unique journey into remote mountain regions highlights today's rapidly shifting meanings of citizenship, faith, and identity and reveals their global scale.

The Handbook of Language and Gender

Author: Janet Holmes
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0470756705
Format: PDF, Docs
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The Handbook of Language and Gender is a collection of articles written by leading specialists in the field that examines the dynamic ways in which women and men develop and manage gendered identities through their talk. Provides a comprehensive, up-to-date, and stimulating picture of the field for students and researchers in a wide range of disciplines Features data and case studies from interactions in different social contexts and from a range of different communities

Technologies for Intuition

Author: Alaina Lemon
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520294289
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Since the Cold War, Americans and Russians have together cultivated fascination with the workings and failures of communicative channels. Each accuses the other of media jamming and propaganda, and each proclaims its own communication practices better for expression and creativity. Technologies for Intuition theorizes phaticity—the processes by which people make, check, discern, or describe channels and contacts, judging them weak or strong, blocked or open. This historical ethnography of intuition juxtaposes telepathy experiments and theatrical empathy drills, passing through settings where media and performance professionals encounter neophytes, where locals open channels with foreigners, and where skeptics of contact debate naifs. Tacking across geopolitical borders, the book demonstrates how contact and channel shift in significance over time, through events and political relations, in social conflict, and in conversation. The author suggests that Cold War preoccupations and strategies have marked theoretical models of communication and mediation, even while infusing everyday, practical technologies for intuition.

Scripting Addiction

Author: E. Summerson Carr
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400836659
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Scripting Addiction takes readers into the highly ritualized world of mainstream American addiction treatment. It is a world where clinical practitioners evaluate how drug users speak about themselves and their problems, and where the ideal of "healthy" talk is explicitly promoted, carefully monitored, and identified as the primary sign of therapeutic progress. The book explores the puzzling question: why do addiction counselors dedicate themselves to reconciling drug users' relationship to language in order to reconfigure their relationship to drugs? To answer this question, anthropologist Summerson Carr traces the charged interactions between counselors, clients, and case managers at "Fresh Beginnings," an addiction treatment program for homeless women in the midwestern United States. She shows that shelter, food, and even the custody of children hang in the balance of everyday therapeutic exchanges, such as clinical assessments, individual therapy sessions, and self-help meetings. Acutely aware of the high stakes of self-representation, experienced clients analyze and learn to effectively perform prescribed ways of speaking, a mimetic practice they call "flipping the script." As a clinical ethnography, Scripting Addiction examines how decades of clinical theorizing about addiction, language, self-knowledge, and sobriety is manifested in interactions between counselors and clients. As an ethnography of the contemporary United States, the book demonstrates the complex cultural roots of the powerful clinical ideas that shape therapeutic transactions--and by extension administrative routines and institutional dynamics--at sites such as "Fresh Beginnings."

Creativity Class

Author: Lily Chumley
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400881323
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The last three decades have seen a massive expansion of China's visual culture industries, from architecture and graphic design to fine art and fashion. New ideologies of creativity and creative practices have reshaped the training of a new generation of art school graduates. Creativity Class is the first book to explore how Chinese art students develop, embody, and promote their own personalities and styles as they move from art school entrance test preparation, to art school, to work in the country's burgeoning culture industries. Lily Chumley shows the connections between this creative explosion and the Chinese government's explicit goal of cultivating creative human capital in a new "market socialist" economy where value is produced through innovation. Drawing on years of fieldwork in China's leading art academies and art test prep schools, Chumley combines ethnography and oral history with analyses of contemporary avant-garde and official art, popular media, and propaganda. Examining the rise of a Chinese artistic vanguard and creative knowledge-based economy, Creativity Class sheds light on an important facet of today's China.