Postcolonial Disorders (Ethnographic Studies in Subjectivity)

Postcolonial Disorders (Ethnographic Studies in Subjectivity)

Language: English

Pages: 480

ISBN: 0520252241

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The essays in this volume reflect on the nature of subjectivity in the diverse places where anthropologists work at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Contributors explore everyday modes of social and psychological experience, the constitution of the subject, and forms of subjection that shape the lives of Basque youth, Indonesian artists, members of nongovernmental HIV/AIDS programs in China and the Republic of Congo, psychiatrists and the mentally ill in Morocco and Ireland, and persons who have suffered trauma or been displaced by violence in the Middle East and in South and Southeast Asia.

Painting on book jacket by Entang Wiharso

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radical force that seems to have disposed of its usual parameters for legitimate targets. Although the political organizations that are associated with ETA continue to demand a political negotiation to end the violence, the virulence of the violence unleashed by ETA seems to cancel any possible negotiation. Furthermore, ETA’s violence has not spared former nationalist allies, creating the puzzling result of reinforcing the Spanish right wing in the Basque Country and debilitating the social

role these artists and their contemporaries played in “subjectifying” the state, exploring how they imagined and positioned themselves as critical citizens, fearful yet risk taking, by making political art and placing it on public exhibition.4 Begoña Aretxaga suggests the importance of the “subjective dynamics that link people to states” (: ). “The question of desire as well as fear becomes most crucial in rethinking the kind of reality the state might be acquiring at this moment of

through state violence that reproduces disorder.9 “Disorder” and “disorders” therefore provide a lens for investigating the contradictions that emerge in postcolonial societies and the social conditions they produce. These include “disorderly states,” both those that are autocratic and those that are weak or failed and depend on privatized militias and violence; conflicts between “imagined” national communities and primordial commitments, leading to forms of religious and ethnic violence

region, the nation, or on Islam.10 R I TUA L R E S O N AN CE : T H E MO R A L R EC O V ERY O F S ECUR IT Y Differences between the ritual ideologies of Lombok’s traditional and orthodox ritual practices inform similar junctures between more traditional and 116 Disordered States bounty-oriented anticrime militias and their more blood-letting Islamic groupings. Where earlier, and not explicitly religious, pamswakarsa focused on the recovery of stolen goods (and not the immoral criminal),

violence, the term ensekirite can be used as a trope for the experience of living at the nexus of multiple uncertainties and forms of violence—political, economic, domestic, 136 Disordered States gendered, spiritual—and ensekirite is mediated through the body.7 The ambiguity and uncertainty of ensekirite is experienced in varying degrees at all levels of society and leaves the entire social system “nervous” (Taussig ); however, those who were direct victims of organized violence are now

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