Eloquence in Trouble: The Poetics and Politics of Complaint by James M. Wilce

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By James M. Wilce

Eloquence in hassle captures the articulation of a number of lives in Bangladesh in addition to the threats to the very genres in their expression, lament particularly. the 1st ethnography of 1 of the main spoken mom tongues in the world, Bangla, this learn represents a brand new method of problems speak, combining the rigor of discourse research with the interpretive intensity of mental anthropology. Its cautious transcriptions of Bangladeshi issues speak will disturb a few readers and stream others--beyond prior educational dialogue of personhood in South Asia.

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Additional resources for Eloquence in Trouble: The Poetics and Politics of Complaint in Rural Bangladesh (Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics)

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The epistemological and practical rejection of women's complaints in Bangladesh has been documented by Hashemi and Schuler (1992). During a visit to Dhaka in 1992 I brought up the subject of bilap with my hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Rejak Khan. Mr. Khan pointed out that there once was a class of women, rudaU, who were paid to lament at funerals (cf. 30 Mr. Khan said that the purpose of hiring such people was to enable even those who might not be distraught over the death at hand to do the proper thing.

Kirmayer (1984) and Fabrega (1990) have problematized somatization as a psychiatric category, particularly as applied to nonWestern societies. When Fabrega claims, however, that South Asian discourses on emotion or illness lack "an epistemology much less a technology that serves to validate illness independent of its report" (664), he does a double injustice to the region. He underestimates both the sophistication of its cpistemological and metalinguistic resources in general and the specific extent to which patriarchy 24 Eloquence in Trouble licenses powerful males to question the significance of complaints authored by females (to cite but one example of a class of persons whose expressions of distress may be doubted).

J—Yes. A—Bismillah eirahman errahim e assalamu alaykum, ei (In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate, Peace be with you. ) 26 J—Not right up close ... [referring to the mike] a little further will do ... It will be 27 better if you keep the mike a little further—Yes. 28 A—What happened in my samsara [family of procreation], [shall I tell] that now? 29 J—Yes, tell of your life from any, from any direction. 30 A—In my life, in my childhood my mother died, then my father remarried. 31 Then when I was still little he gave me away in marriage.

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