Jinnealogy

Time, Islam, and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi

Author: Anand Vivek Taneja

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 1503603954

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 7152

In the ruins of a medieval palace in Delhi, a unique phenomenon occurs: Indians of all castes and creeds meet to socialize and ask the spirits for help. The spirits they entreat are Islamic jinns, and they write out requests as if petitioning the state. At a time when a Hindu right wing government in India is committed to normalizing a view of the past that paints Muslims as oppressors, Anand Vivek Taneja's Jinnealogy provides a fresh vision of religion, identity, and sacrality that runs counter to state-sanctioned history. The ruin, Firoz Shah Kotla, is an unusually democratic religious space, characterized by freewheeling theological conversations, DIY rituals, and the sanctification of animals. Taneja observes the visitors, who come mainly from the Muslim and Dalit neighborhoods of Delhi, and uses their conversations and letters to the jinns as an archive of voices so often silenced. He finds that their veneration of the jinns recalls pre-modern religious traditions in which spiritual experience was inextricably tied to ecological surroundings. In this enchanted space, Taneja encounters a form of popular Islam that is not a relic of bygone days, but a vibrant form of resistance to state repression and post-colonial visions of India.
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When the World Becomes Female

Guises of a South Indian Goddess

Author: Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 025300960X

Category: Religion

Page: 336

View: 3916

During the goddess Gangamma’s festival in the town of Tirupati, lower-caste men take guises of the goddess, and the streets are filled with men wearing saris, braids, and female jewelry. By contrast, women participate by intensifying the rituals they perform for Gangamma throughout the year, such as cooking and offering food. Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger argues that within the festival ultimate reality is imagined as female and women identify with the goddess, whose power they share. Vivid accounts by male and female participants offer new insights into Gangamma’s traditions and the nature of Hindu village goddesses.
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Nuer Dilemmas

Coping with Money, War, and the State

Author: Sharon Elaine Hutchinson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520202849

Category: History

Page: 408

View: 7465

"Not just a brilliant restudy of one of anthropology's most famous 'peoples' but an exemplary historical ethnography that will be a landmark in the discipline. . . . With extraordinary sensitivity Hutchinson reveals how the Nuer have confronted the most profound moral, social, and political dilemmas of their--and our--changing world."--Lila Abu-Lughod, author of Writing Women's Worlds
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Winged Faith

Rethinking Globalization and Religious Pluralism Through the Sathya Sai Movement

Author: Tulasi Srinivas

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231149336

Category: Religion

Page: 430

View: 4659

"Tulasi Srinivas shows a superb ability to juxtapose contemporary theoretical concerns among scholars of globalization and transnational theory with ethnographic work done on a growing Indian tradition. Adept at negotiating the intricacies of many academic dialogues. Srinivas shows she is a polyglot intellectual."---Deepak Sarma, Case Western University The Sathya Sai global civil religious movement incorporates Hindu and Muslim practices, Buddhist, Christian, and Zoroastrian influences, and "New Age"-style rituals and beliefs. Shri Sathya Sai Baba, its charismatic and controversial leader, attracts several million adherents from various national, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. In a dynamic account of the Sathya Sai movement's explosive growth. Winged Faith argues for a rethinking of globalization and the politics of identity in a religiously plural world. This study considers a new kind of cosmopolitanism located in an alternate understanding of difference and contestation. It considers how acts of "sacred spectating" and illusion, "moral stake-holding" and the problems of community are debated and experienced. A thrilling study of a transcultural and transurban phenomenon that questions narratives of self and being circuits of sacred mobility, and the politics of affect. Winged Faith suggests new methods for discussing religion in a globalizing world and introduces an easily critiqued yet not fully understood community. "This is a wonderful book that can be read on two levels. One: as the fascinating story of how a religious movement spread from India throghout the world, with many vignettes that will stay in one's mind. And two: as a very instructive demonstration that cultural globalization is not a oneway process dominated by the West, but an interaction between cultures, with some processes going from East to West."---Peter L. Berger. Boston University
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Pogrom in Gujarat

Hindu Nationalism and Anti-Muslim Violence in India

Author: Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 140084259X

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 8963

In 2002, after an altercation between Muslim vendors and Hindu travelers at a railway station in the Indian state of Gujarat, fifty-nine Hindu pilgrims were burned to death. The ruling nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party blamed Gujarat's entire Muslim minority for the tragedy and incited fellow Hindus to exact revenge. The resulting violence left more than one thousand people dead--most of them Muslims--and tens of thousands more displaced from their homes. Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi witnessed the bloodshed up close. In Pogrom in Gujarat, he provides a riveting ethnographic account of collective violence in which the doctrine of ahimsa--or nonviolence--and the closely associated practices of vegetarianism became implicated by legitimating what they formally disavow. Ghassem-Fachandi looks at how newspapers, movies, and other media helped to fuel the pogrom. He shows how the vegetarian sensibilities of Hindus and the language of sacrifice were manipulated to provoke disgust against Muslims and mobilize the aspiring middle classes across caste and class differences in the name of Hindu nationalism. Drawing on his intimate knowledge of Gujarat's culture and politics and the close ties he shared with some of the pogrom's sympathizers, Ghassem-Fachandi offers a strikingly original interpretation of the different ways in which Hindu proponents of ahimsa became complicit in the very violence they claimed to renounce.
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India and the Islamic Heartlands

An Eighteenth-Century World of Circulation and Exchange

Author: Gagan D. S. Sood

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107121272

Category: History

Page: 353

View: 8775

Gagan Sood recaptures a vanished and forgotten world that spanned India and the Islamic heartlands in the eighteenth century.
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Neighborhood Tokyo

Author: Theodore C. Bestor

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804717974

Category: Social Science

Page: 347

View: 6759

In the vastness of Tokyo these are tiny social units, and by the standards that most Americans would apply, they are perhaps far too small, geographically and demographically, to be considered "neighborhoods." Still, to residents of Tokyo and particularly to the residents of any given subsection of the city, they are socially significant and geographically distinguishable divisions of the urban landscape. In neighborhoods such as these, overlapping and intertwining associations and institutions provide an elaborate and enduring framework for local social life, within which residents are linked to one another not only through their participation in local organizations, but also through webs of informal social, economic, and political ties. This book is an ethnographic analysis of the social fabric and internal dynamics of one such neighborhood: Miyamoto-cho, a pseudonym for a residential and commercial district in Tokyo where the author carried out fieldwork from June 1979 to May 1981, and during several summers since. It is a study of the social construction and maintenance of a neighborhood in a society where such communities are said to be outmoded, even antithetical to the major trends of modernization and social change that have transformed Japan in the last hundred years. It is a study not of tradition as an aspect of historical continuity, but of traditionalism: the manipulation, invention, and recombination of cultural patterns, symbols, and motifs so as to legitimate contemporary social realities by imbuing them with a patina of venerable historicity. It is a study of often subtle and muted struggles between insiders and outsiders over those most ephemeral of the community's resources, its identity and sense of autonomy, enacted in the seemingly insubstantial idioms of cultural tradition.
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"Mysticism" in Iran

The Safavid Roots of a Modern Concept

Author: Ata Anzali

Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Press

ISBN: 1611178088

Category: Religion

Page: 292

View: 8186

“Mysticism” in Iran is an in-depth analysis of significant transformations in the religious landscape of Safavid Iran that led to the marginalization of Sufism and the eventual emergence of ‘irfan as an alternative Shi‘i model of spirituality. Ata Anzali draws on a treasure-trove of manuscripts from Iranian archives to offer an original study of the transformation of Safavid Persia from a majority Sunni country to a Twelver Shi‘i realm. The work straddles social and intellectual history, beginning with an examination of late Safavid social and religious contexts in which Twelver religious scholars launched a successful campaign against Sufism with the tacit approval of the court. This led to the social, political, and economic marginalization of Sufism, which was stigmatized as an illegitimate mode of piety rooted in a Sunni past. Anzali directs the reader’s attention to creative and successful attempts by other members of the ulama to incorporate the Sufi tradition into the new Twelver milieu. He argues that the category of ‘irfan, or “mysticism,” was invented at the end of the Safavid period by mystically minded scholars such as Shah Muhammad Darabi and Qutb al-Din Nayrizi in reference to this domesticated form of Sufism. Key aspects of Sufi thought and practice were revisited in the new environment, which Anzali demonstrates by examining the evolving role of the spiritual master. This traditional Sufi function was reimagined by Shi‘i intellectuals to incorporate the guidance of the infallible imams and their deputies, the ulama. Anzali goes on to address the institutionalization of ‘irfan in Shi‘i madrasas and the role played by prominent religious scholars of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in this regard. The book closes with a chapter devoted to fascinating changes in the thought and practice of ‘irfan in the twentieth century during the transformative processes of modernity. Focusing on the little-studied figure of Kayvan Qazvini and his writings, Anzali explains how ‘irfan was embraced as a rational, science-friendly, nonsectarian, and anticlerical concept by secular Iranian intellectuals.
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Passage to Manhood

Youth Migration, Heroin, and AIDS in Southwest China

Author: Shao-hua Liu

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804770255

Category: Social Science

Page: 232

View: 4577

Passage to Manhood is a groundbreaking and beautifully written ethnography that addresses the intersection of modernity, heroin use, and AIDS as they intersect in a new "rite-of-passage" among young ethnic-minority males in contemporary China.
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Pluralism and Democracy in India

Debating the Hindu Right

Author: Wendy Doniger,Martha Craven Nussbaum

Publisher: OUP Us

ISBN: 0195395530

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 4835

Based on presentations at a conference at the University of Chicago Law School in November 2005.
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Strangers in the City

Reconfigurations of Space, Power, and Social Networks Within China’s Floating Population

Author: Li Zhang

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804779341

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 4975

With rapid commercialization, a booming urban economy, and the relaxation of state migration policies, over 100 million peasants, known as China’s “floating population,” have streamed into large cities seeking employment and a better life. This massive flow of rural migrants directly challenges Chinese socialist modes of state control. This book traces the profound transformations of space, power relations, and social networks within a mobile population that has broken through the constraints of the government’s household registration system. The author explores this important social change through a detailed ethnographic account of the construction, destruction, and eventual reconstruction of the largest migrant community in Beijing. She focuses on the informal privatization of space and power in this community through analyzing the ways migrant leaders build their power base by controlling housing and market spaces and mobilizing social networks. The author argues that to gain a deeper understanding of recent Chinese social and political transformations, one must examine not only to what extent state power still dominates everyday social life, but also how the aims and methods of late socialist governance change under new social and economic conditions. In revealing the complexities and uncertainties of the shifting power and social relations in post-Mao China, this book challenges the common notion that sees recent changes as an inevitable move toward liberal capitalism and democracy.
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Governing China's Population

From Leninist to Neoliberal Biopolitics

Author: Susan Greenhalgh,Edwin A. Winckler

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804748803

Category: Social Science

Page: 394

View: 8084

'Governing China's Population' tells the story of political and cultural shifts, from the perspectives of both regime and society.
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Money from Nothing

Indebtedness and Aspiration in South Africa

Author: Deborah James

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804793158

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 4941

Money from Nothing explores the dynamics surrounding South Africa's national project of financial inclusion—dubbed "banking the unbanked"—which aimed to extend credit to black South Africans as a critical aspect of broad-based economic enfranchisement. Through rich and captivating accounts, Deborah James reveals the varied ways in which middle- and working-class South Africans' access to credit is intimately bound up with identity, status-making, and aspirations of upward mobility. She draws out the deeply precarious nature of both the aspirations and the economic relations of debt which sustain her subjects, revealing the shadowy side of indebtedness and its potential to produce new forms of oppression and disenfranchisement in place of older ones. Money from Nothing uniquely captures the lived experience of indebtedness for those many millions who attempt to improve their positions (or merely sustain existing livelihoods) in emerging economies.
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Constructing China's Jerusalem

Christians, Power, and Place in Contemporary Wenzhou

Author: Nanlai Cao

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804773602

Category: Religion

Page: 216

View: 9320

This book depicts the revival of Protestant Christianity among diverse groups of people in the commercially prosperous coastal city of Wenzhou, and shows how resurgent and innovated Christian beliefs and practices in the reform era reveal emerging patterns of power formation, place making and morality building in the context of a market-oriented, modernizing China..
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In the Shadow of World Literature

Sites of Reading in Colonial Egypt

Author: Michael Allan

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400881099

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 200

View: 2757

We have grown accustomed to understanding world literature as a collection of national or linguistic traditions bound together in the universality of storytelling. Michael Allan challenges this way of thinking and argues instead that the disciplinary framework of world literature, far from serving as the neutral meeting ground of national literary traditions, levels differences between scripture, poetry, and prose, and fashions textual forms into a particular pedagogical, aesthetic, and ethical practice. In the Shadow of World Literature examines the shift from Qur'anic schooling to secular education in colonial Egypt and shows how an emergent literary discipline transforms the act of reading itself. The various chapters draw from debates in literary theory and anthropology to consider sites of reception that complicate the secular/religious divide—from the discovery of the Rosetta stone and translations of the Qur'an to debates about Charles Darwin in the modern Arabic novel. Through subtle analysis of competing interpretative frames, Allan reveals the ethical capacities and sensibilities literary reading requires, the conceptions of textuality and critique it institutionalizes, and the forms of subjectivity it authorizes. A brilliant and original exploration of what it means to be literate in the modern world, this book is a unique meditation on the reading practices that define the contours of world literature.
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Class Work

Vocational Schools and China's Urban Youth

Author: Terry Woronov

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804796939

Category: Social Science

Page: 200

View: 2110

Images of Chinese teens with their heads buried in books for hours on end, preparing for high-stakes exams, dominate understandings of Chinese youth in both China and the West. But what about young people who are not on the path to academic success? What happens to youth who fail the state's high-stakes exams? What many—even in China—don't realize is that up to half of the nation's youth are flunked out of the academic education system after 9th grade. Class Work explores the consequences for youth who have failed these exams, through an examination of two urban vocational schools in Nanjing, China. Through a close look at the students' backgrounds, experiences, the schools they attend, and their trajectories into the workforce, T.E. Woronov explores the value systems in contemporary China that stigmatize youth in urban vocational schools as "failures," and the political and economic structures that funnel them into working-class futures. She argues that these marginalized students and schools provide a privileged window into the ongoing, complex intersections between the socialist and capitalist modes of production in China today and the rapid transformation of China's cities into post-industrial, service-based economies. This book advances the notion that urban vocational schools are not merely "holding tanks" for academic failures; instead they are incipient sites for the formation of a new working class.
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Working the Night Shift

Women in India’s Call Center Industry

Author: Reena Patel

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804775508

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 7839

Relatively high wages and the opportunity to be part of an upscale, globalized work environment draw many in India to the call center industry. At the same time, night shift employment presents women, in particular, with new challenges alongside the opportunities. This book explores how beliefs about what constitutes "women's work" are evolving in response to globalization. Working the Night Shift is the first in-depth study of the transnational call center industry that is written from the point of view of women workers. It uncovers how call center employment affects their lives, mainly as it relates to the anxiety that Indian families and Indian society have towards women going out at night, earning a good salary, and being exposed to western culture. This timely account illustrates the ironic and, at times, unsettling experiences of women who enter the spaces and places made accessible through call center work. Visit the author's website at http://www.working-the-nightshift.com and facebook group.
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Coming of Age in Nineteenth-Century India

The Girl-Child and the Art of Playfulness

Author: Ruby Lal

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107030242

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 229

View: 9256

In this eloquent history, Ruby Lal traces the lives of nineteenth-century Indian women in their transition from girlhood to maturity. In the north Indian patriarchal environment, women's lives were dominated by prescriptive household chores and domestic duties. What the book reveals, however, is that women in the early nineteenth century experienced greater freedoms, playfulness, and creativity than their counterparts in the more restricted colonial world at the end of the century.
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Muslim Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Empire

Author: Seema Alavi

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674735331

Category: History

Page: 490

View: 751

Seema Alavi challenges the idea that all pan-Islamic configurations are anti-Western or pro-Caliphate. A pan-Islamic intellectual network at the cusp of the British and Ottoman empires became the basis of a global Muslim sensibility—a political and cultural affiliation that competes with ideas of nationhood today as it did in the last century.
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Reconfiguring Islamic Tradition

Reform, Rationality, and Modernity

Author: Samira Haj

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804769754

Category: Religion

Page: 304

View: 5697

Samira Haj conceptualizes Islam through a close reading of two Muslim reformers—Muhammad ibn 'Abdul Wahhab (1703–1787) and Muhammad 'Abduh (1849–1905)—each representative of a distinct trend, chronological as well as philosophical, in modern Islam. Their works are examined primarily through the prism of two conceptual questions: the idea of the modern and the formation of a Muslim subject. Approaching Islam through the works of these two Muslims, she illuminates aspects of Islamic modernity that have been obscured and problematizes assumptions founded on the oppositional dichotomies of modern/traditional, secular/sacred, and liberal/fundamentalist. The book explores the notions of the community-society and the subject's location within it to demonstrate how Muslims in different historical contexts responded differently to theological and practical questions. This knowledge will help us better understand the conflicts currently unfolding in parts of the Arab world.
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