Narrative and Violence explores philosophical and anthropological ideas surrounding the nature of social suffering, its relationship to social, historical and political contexts and the manner in which diasporic communities narrate their suffering. Against the setting of the adverse relationship between Iran and the West, it examines the ways in which suffering shapes identity and belonging in the Diaspora for Iranians living in the West. Based on rich empirical information drawn from the UK and Australia, this book investigates ways in which the lives of Iranians living in the Diaspora are affected by the understanding of Iran in terms of abjection, as that which is beyond or outside of The West. Exploring the emotions and feelings of pain and suffering, as they are rooted in and shape various categories of experience, propounds a view of suffering which is thoroughly grounded in culture, history and politics. Presenting a new theoretical and cultural understanding of experiences of suffering, violence, war and displacement, this book contributes to critical debates within sociology, geography, anthropology history and cultural and critical theory.
Table of Contents
1. Social Suffering, Identity and Dislocation
2. Labelling Iranians both Inside the Country and in Diaspora
3. Social Dimensions of Suffering: An Interpretation of the 1979 Revolution
4. The Body Always Remembers – Reflections of Pain: The Iran–Iraq War
Mammad Aidani is an interdisciplinary scholar specialising in phenomenological hermeneutics philosophy, cultural theory and narrative psychology based in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
’Mammad Aidani offers us a rare insight into Iranian identity and the interplay of forces which shape longing, belonging and being somebody in the world. The voices of men living in the diaspora allow reflection on the unreflected through a fine historical, political and philosophical analysis. This is a major contribution to understanding personal and collective suffering and its causes.’ Ida Kaplan, Foundation House, Australia ’A brave and significant work, offering an alternative way of understanding trauma and suffering and important understandings of political, historical and cultural contexts of suffering of the many who live their lives in a dislocated world. This is essential reading for anyone engaged in the challenges of working with traumatized individuals and or researching this field of scholarship.’ Sandra Gifford, Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Australia 'This short book tracks many of the same themes as do contemporary anthropologists working on violence, suffering, and everyday life. Some will find an easy home for this book as secondary material in anthropology courses on violence, trauma, or migration and exile; others interested in the Iranian diaspora will find it to be well written and intellectually stimulating.' Journal of The Royal Anthropological Institute