Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title

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pp. 4-4

Copyright

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pp. 5-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

This book gives an account of the ways women from Udahenagama, a community in the rural slums of Southern Sri Lanka, talk about violence and its effects. Many families in rural Sinhalese communities bring up their sons to become soldiers in the war against the Tamil minority in the north and east of the country. ...

A Note on Transliteration

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pp. xv-xvi

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1. Introduction: How Women Contain Violence

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pp. 1-18

A great number of young men in Sri Lanka have chosen to join the armed forces and were until recently fighting against Tamil separatists (the Tamil Tigers or LTTE) in the north and east of the country. As the Sri Lankan army suffered heavy casualties in what has become a war of attrition, ...

Part I: The Wild in Udahenagama

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2. "Have some tea with a piece of Nirvana!": A Lifetime Under the Gaze of the Wild

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pp. 21-41

Once in a country there was a raksha [a dangerous spirit] and he was very foolish . People lived in houses with two stories. The people too were foolish and the raksha too. The raksha wife was very rich. She was brought to her husband's house from a rich family. The raksha husband was poor and he got his wife because she was rich. ...

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3. "Even the wild spirits are afraid!": The Gaze of the Wild in Five Neighborhoods

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pp. 42-82

The previous chapter examined the ways Udahenagama people use idioms related to domestic conflict and violence to talk about more public or political forms of violence. For the purpose of this analysis, I have thus far extracted the discourse on the gaze of the wild from its social and political context. ...

Part II: Cautious Discourses About the Wild

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4. "We can tell anything to the milk tree": Udahenagama Soundscapes

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pp. 85-101

Before describing the characteristics of discourses about the wild in Chapters 5 and 6, I want first to set these discourses in the context of Udahenagama acoustic space. A discourse is not only a flow of information or a style of talking. Discourse is voiced; it sounds, resonates, and has a presence among all the other sounds that characterize daily life. ...

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5. "Those and these things happened": Ambiguous Forms of Speech

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pp. 102-132

In this chapter I look at the discursive strategies that are used when people refer to the wild and the terrifying and divulge or receive such potentially dangerous or illness-provoking messages. The following gives an initial impression of the type of communicative events I will describe: ...

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6. "She said that he had said that ...": The Use of Reported Speech

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pp. 133-156

While in the previous chapters I discussed the discursive strategies that people use when speaking for themselves, in this chapter I analyze the ways in which Udahenagama people quote one another. Quoting is a game that is firmly woven into the fabric of discourses in many cultures. ...

Part III: Agents of Discursive Change

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7. "It wasn't like that when we were young": Civil War, National Mental Health NGOs, and the International Community of Trauma Specialists

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pp. 159-194

The question arises whether the discourses on violence I describe in Part II should be interpreted as one aspect of the cultural impact of the civil war or as styles of communication that existed prior to the violent conflict. In other words, are these particular discursive styles the outcome of a violent history—a response to violence and war— ...

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8. The Power of Ambiguity

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pp. 195-212

The history of the Southern Province of Sri Lanka is replete with violent events. First colonial violence and then counter-insurgency violence terrified generations of civilians in the rural south. I refrain from using the term "culture of extreme violence" or "culture of terror" to refer to this situation of chronic violence. ...

Notes

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pp. 213-224

Bibliography

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pp. 225-234

Index

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pp. 235-240