The essays in Violence and Subjectivity, written by a distinguished international roster of contributors, consider the ways in which violence shapes subjectivity and acts upon people's capacity to engage everyday life. Like its predecessor volume, Social Suffering, which explored the different ways social force inflicts harm on individuals and groups, this collection ventures into many areas of ongoing violence, asking how people live with themselves and others when perpetrators, victims, and witnesses all come from the same social space.
From civil wars and ethnic riots to governmental and medical interventions at a more bureaucratic level, the authors address not only those extreme situations guaranteed to occupy precious media minutes but also the more subtle violences of science and state. However particular and circumscribed the site of any fieldwork may be, today's ethnographer finds local identities and circumstances molded by state and transnational forces, including the media themselves. These authors contest a new political geography that divides the world into "violence-prone areas" and "peaceful areas" and suggest that such descriptions might themselves contribute to violence in the present global context.
Veena Das is Professor of Sociology at Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, and Professor of Anthropology at the New School Graduate Faculty in New York. Arthur Kleinman is Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Medical Anthropology at Harvard Medical School. Mamphela Ramphele is Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town. Pamela Reynolds is Professor and Chair of the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town.
“Important and timely contribution to the burgeoning literature . . . An ambitious and wide-ranging paper. The book will be of interest not only to social scientists.”—Paul Collinson Anthropology In Action