State University of New York Press

SUNY series, The Body in Culture, History, and Religion (discontinued)

Howard Eilberg-Schwartz

Published by: State University of New York Press

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SUNY series, The Body in Culture, History, and Religion (discontinued)

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Blind People

The Private and Public Life of Sightless Israelis

Blind People approaches disability from a fresh perspective: people with an unusual body are conceived of relativistically as a variant of humanity, much the way anthropology approaches people of different culture. While deeply empathic to its subject matter, Blind People raises questions that anthropologists ask routinely, but which are commonly avoided in everyday life because they touch on sensitive matters. Based on fieldwork in Israel, the book constitutes an ethnography of blind Israelis. It starts by focusing on intimate issues of the management of the sightless body, goes on to discuss the role of the blind person in the domestic setting, and moves to issues of how the blind person strives to attain material requirements. Finally, the book relates the way blind people cope with problems of associating with both blind and sighted people in arenas of leisure activity and public affairs. Deshen’s book aims to present a truthful, dignified, fully human depiction, in the tradition of socio-cultural anthropology.

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People of the Body

Jews and Judaism from an Embodied Perspective

By shifting attention from the image of Jews as a textual community to the ways Jews understand and manage their bodies — for example, to their concerns with reproduction and sexuality, menstruation and childbirth— this volume contributes to a revisioning of what Jews and Judaism are and have been. The project of re-membering the Jewish body has both historical and constructive motivations. As a constructive project, this book describes, renews, and participates in the complex and ongoing modern discussion about the nature of Jewish bodies and the place of bodies in Judaism.

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