Local Realities, Global Relations
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Introduction: EngagingRadical Egalitarianism
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This book represents a form of historically grounded, ethnographi-cally driven anthropology that seeks to understand social phenom-ena by dialogically engaging global and local perspectives. As a whole, it promotes an approach to scholarship that actively avoids privileg-ing any one conceptual framework or cultural form at the expense ...
The Charisma of Saints and the Cultof Relics, Amulets, and Tomb Shrines
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As a sequel to my third monograph on Thailand—Th e Buddhist Saints of the Forest and the Cult of Amulets (Tambiah 1984)—I have begun a comparative study that aspires to span some Christian, Islamic, Bud-dhist, and Hindu traditions with regard to their characterization of saints and the cults of relics, amulets, and shrine worship associ-...
Understanding Social Totalities:Stanley Tambiah’s Early Contributionto Sociology of Thai Buddhism
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Stanley Tambiah’s legacy to Thai scholarship has been in his eluci-dation of underlying structures and dialectic within Theravada Bud-dhism and his explication of a Weberian paradox: namely, the way that social actors make the religion meaningful to their worlds, and, likewise, the way that the Buddhist laity creates meaning in a reli-...
Transnational Buddhism andthe Transformations of LocalPower in Thailand
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In his autobiographical introduction to World Conqueror and World Renouncer, Stanley Tambiah reconstructs for his readers the intel-lectual journey that led him to his path-breaking work on the Thai polity in religious and historical perspective. It is at least in part for this work that we honor him in this collection, and it bears profi table ...
A Muslim King and His BuddhistSubjects: Religion, Power, and Identityat the Periphery of the Thai State
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In this paper, I explore how Thai villagers living in the Malaysian state of Kelantan creatively fashion cultural meanings for themselves by navigating through the conundrum of being the subject of two rulers—one Buddhist, but living in Thailand across the international border, the other Muslim, and part of the lived experiences of Kelan-...
Economies of Ghosts, Gods, and Goods:The History and Anthropologyof Chinese Temple Networks
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Stanley Tambiah’s work in linking history and anthropology for the study of Thailand and Sri Lanka has been a constant inspiration for my own att empts to do something of the same for the study of China. In particular, I have been inspired by Tambiah’s studies of the inter-relations of religious, political, and economic anthropology in ways ...
Trade, Religion, and Civic Relationsin the Manangi Long-DistanceTrade Community
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It was the work of Stanley J. Tambiah that transformed me from a stu-dent of economics into a student of anthropology. At a time when I was feeling a growing dissatisfaction with the fi eld of economics, I en-rolled in a social studies seminar on the history of economic thought taught by Steve Marglin, an economist at Harvard. While discussing ...
Cosmologies of Welfare:Two Conceptions of Social Assistancein Contemporary South Africa
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Many anthropologists today seem unsure of what their discipline is about, or how it is to be distinguished from other forms of social and cultural analysis. I myself feel no such anxiety, since it seems obvious to me that anthropology’s distinctiveness and value lie neither in a unique subject matt er nor a trademark methodology, but rather in an ...
“A Recurrence of Structures”in Collapsing Nigeria
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According to a leading school of anthropological thought, Lévi-Strauss (1945) deployed Jakobsonian structuralism to split the “atom of kinship”—an emic node of “arbitrary” mental representations or-ganizing small human groups. Then Leach (1954) adapted this idea to analyze four centuries of “structural variability” among part-time ...
People and Ideas Travel Together:Tambiah’s Approach to Ritualand Cosmology in Brazil
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The fi rst time I read Tambiah’s work was in 1973, in a masters seminar on symbolism held by Peter Silverwood-Cope at the Universidade de Brasília. At that time, Tambiah’s article “The Magical Power of Words” (1968b) had recently been published in the journal Man, and “Form and Meaning of Magical Acts” (1973), still in manuscript form while ...
Paradoxes of Order in ThaiCommunity Politics
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Oscillation between hierarchical and egalitarian models is a feature of the political life of the Shan of Burma, as Edmund Leach (1954) famously argued. But it is also of more general signifi cance; indeed, it characterizes the uncertainty of anthropologists themselves as they try to put Southeast Asian societies into one or the other box. In the ...
Structural Work:How Microhistories BecomeMacrohistories and Vice Versa
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...by means the most absurd and ridiculous; in the most ridiculous Early in 1841, the irascible British Consul in Honolulu, Richard Charl-ton, fi red oﬀ one of his habitual lett ers of complaint to the Governor of O’ahu. “Sir,” he wrote, “I have the honor to inform you that some person or persons are building a wall near the end of the bowling al-...
Perspectives on the Politics ofPeace in Aceh, Indonesia
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Stanley Tambiah laments in Leveling Crowds: Ethnonationalist Confl icts and Collective Violence in Southeast Asia (1996), “something has gone awry in center-periphery relations throughout the world.” Identify-ing widespread ethnic confl icts as characteristically “amongst en-emies intimately known,” noting “the internationalization of the ...
A Tale of Two Aff ects:Humanitarianism and Professionalismin Red Cross Aid Work
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This brief essay represents a fragment of a research project on the ethics and politics of humanitarian practices in the International Committ ee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and a related national-level or-ganization, the Finnish Red Cross (FRC). I have worked mostly with Finnish medical professionals—nurses and doctors—who have gone ...
nd Transnational Confl icts:The Political Uses of Inferiorization
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Magisterial theoretical contributions, always based on solid and ex-haustive historical and ethnographic data, are what fi rst come to our mind when we think of Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah. But I am now keenly aware that his work, as most evident in his Leveling Crowds (1996), has also been rooted in his passionate concern with injus-...
Aft erword. Galactic Polities,Radical Egalitarianism,and the Practice of Anthropology:Tambiah on Logical Paradoxes, SocialContradictions, and Cultural Oscillations
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.... . . the richness of the forms of life of other societies, knowledge of which will deepen and illuminate our own lives and societies. This is the reason and justifi cation for the practice of anthropology.traordinarily talented social anthropologists; they brought with them perspectives, questions, and empirical fi eldwork that helped reshape ...
no t e s
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...1. This collection is in large part the result of two events held in honor of Professor Stanley J. Tambiah: fi rst, a double panel session at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Novem-ber 2007, Washington, D.C.; and second, a double panel session at the 2. This is especially evidenced in Th e Buddhist Saints of the Forest and ...
b i b l i o g r a p h y
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Abramowitz, Sharon. 2005. “The Poor Have Become Rich, and the Rich Have Become Poor: Collective Trauma in the Guinean Languett e.” Acts on the Administration of the Buddhist Order of Sangha of Th ailand. 1989. Adédìran, B. 1991. “Pleasant Imperialism: Conjectures on Benin Hege-mony in Eastern Yorùbáland.” African Notes (Ìbàdàn) 15:83–95....
c o n t r i b u t o r s
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Felicity Aulino is a medical anthropologist and ethnographic fi lm-maker with primary area specialization in Thailand. She is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusett s Amherst and the Five College Con-James Ferguson is Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University ...
Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2013