Society of Others: Kinship and Mourning in a West Papuan Place PDF (Adobe DRM) download by Rupert Stasch

Society of Others: Kinship and Mourning in a West Papuan Place

University of California Press
Publication date: May 2009
ISBN: 9780520943322
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)


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""In this timely commentary on the ideas of difference, strangeness, and Western contact, Stasch weaves ethnographic materials together with theoretical framing in an exceptionally clear and compelling way. A highly original, important and, in fact, astonishing piece of scholarship.""â¿¿Bambi Schieffelin, author of The Give and Take of Everyday Life ""In this remarkable ethnography, Rupert Stasch takes us to the lowlands of West Papua and into the lives of people who have built a social world out of their relationships with strange and potentially dangerous others. The Korowai are classic inhabitants of the ""savage slot,"" still dogged by their designation as Stone Age primitives. Instead of flipping the script and arguing that the Korowai are just like everyone else, Stasch draws far-reaching lessons from the particularities of Korowai life. Stasch writes with grace and clarity on the ambivalent ways in which the Korowai confront, evade, and embrace an otherness that resides not just in words, food, places, and human bodies, but also in the pasts and futures brought to mind by these material signs. Analyzing Korowai sign use as a concrete, historical process, he charts the passage between intimacy and alterity that Korowai undergo in their encounters not only with spirits and Indonesian soldiers, but also with children, husbands, and wives. Some of what Stasch describes may seem strange and even disturbing. But in pondering Stasch's findings, one gradually comes to see the making of persons and relationships in an entirely new light. Gone is the old debate between biological determination and cultural freedom; in its place is an approach that affirms the multiple histories that converge in and flow from a life. Erudite, empathetic, and unremittingly smart, Society of Others recasts the very meaning of kinshipâ¿¿and makes a case for the power of what anthropologists do.""â¿¿Danilyn Rutherford, author of Raiding the Land of the Foreigners: The Limits of the Nation on an Indonesian Frontier
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