Using key perspectives from Linguistic anthropology the book illuminates how social actors take up the ideals of law, equality, and democratic representation in locally-meaningful ways to make their own national history in ways that may perpetuate violence and inequality. Focusing specifically on post-war conditions in Ireland, the author contextualizes commonplace practices by which citizens are made to learn the gap between official membership in and political belonging to a democratic state. Each chapter takes up a different aspect of state authority and power to constitute citizenship, to enact laws, to mediate conflict, and to create histories in the context of social inequalities and political hostilities. This book is an excellent ethnographic addition to courses in linguistic anthropology, giving readers the opportunity to explore applications and ramifications of key theoretical text within research.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Telling and Re-telling Anthropological Tales of States and Conflicts 1. Transforming the Legal System: Expert Knowledge and the Promise of Equality 2. Disciplining Gendered Citizenship in the Courtroom 3. In Loco Parentis: Embodied Punishment and the State in the Classroom 4. The Unwritten Law, Legibility, and Land Conflicts 5. War Commemorations, the IRA, and an Uncertain Future Conclusion: Legacies of Conflict, Violence, and the State
Brigittine M. French is Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Peace & Conflict Studies Program at Grinnell College. French is a linguistic anthropologist whose research focuses on testimony, violence, and rights in post-conflict nations. She is the author of Maya Ethnolinguistic Identity: Violence, Cultural Rights, and Modernity in Highland Guatemala (2010). Her work has appeared in the Journal of Human Rights, American Anthropologist, Language in Society, and the Annual Review of Anthropology.