The Ethnography of the State. Special Emphasis on the Analytical Category of Resistance

The Ethnography of the State. Special Emphasis on the Analytical Category of Resistance
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Essay from the year 2013 in the subject Pedagogy - Science, Theory, Anthropology, grade: 65, University of Cambridge, language: English, abstract: Ethnographies of the state have undergone increased scrutiny over recent years. There are several reasons for that: Weber's famous definition of the state as the 'human community successfully claiming the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory' has been contested by state-deniers such as Radcliffe-Brown (1940/2006) or later 'fetishists' including Abrams (1988) and Taussig (1992). They acknowledged the need to pin down the state in practices of everyday life rather than as an abstract 'fetishised' unity. Most recently, heightened influence of globalised companies ('corporate turn', Kapferer, 2005), NGOs and transnational organisations such as the IMF and the world bank (Trouillot, 2001) dispersed centres of sovereignty even further. Following historical developments, the study of the state has come full turn from Hobbes's 'Leviathan' to Foucault's 'capillaries'. I will briefly mention several different ethnographic analytics that can help to still trace the state and its effects in this multi-dimensional context - introducing notions of institutions, culture and history as locations for state power - before I focus on the study of a seemingly non-state political expression: resistance. I examine Abu-Lughod's (1990) mighty claim that where we find resistance, there is power (i.e. the state) with the help of ethnographic case studies from Egypt (Ali, 1996), Botswana (Comaroff, 1985), Malaysia (Scott, 1989), India (Nandy, 1983) and Turkey (Navaro-Yashin, 2002).


Breite: 148
Gewicht: 32 g
Höhe: 210
Länge: 1
Seiten: 12
Autor: Johannes Lenhard


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