VIOLENCE, LANGUAGE, AND EVERYDAY LIFE – EMILY MARTIN of New York University

In this essay, I review two books about the social and cultural context of violence in India and Pakistan. Veena Das’s Life and Words provides a remarkable theorization of the anthropological significance of the everyday, and Roma Chatterji and Deepak Mehta’s Living with Violence provides a rich ethnographic treatment of violence and the everyday. Together, these books produce new insights into how social and cultural life can be re-created in the aftermath of violent events. By focusing on mundane, ordinary events over the long duration in contexts filled with conflict and uncertainty, the authors argue convincingly that violent acts are not necessarily only witnessed and remembered but also rewoven in the process of ordinary life into newly imagined cultural worlds. These findings have crucial implications for how anthropologists devise ethnographic studies of large-scale violence. Both books make plain the relevance of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s later thought for an ethically responsible ethnography. [violence, language, nation-states, kinship, gender, memory]
This ABSTRACT introduces the ARTICLE. We encourage you to psot short comments on the basis of the longer version rather. than this abstract.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: