The Paths to Domination, Resistance, and Terror
The Paths to Domination, Resistance, and Terror portrays the trajectory of contemporary conflict from an ethnographic perspective. The authors ... Show synopsis The Paths to Domination, Resistance, and Terror portrays the trajectory of contemporary conflict from an ethnographic perspective. The authors explore the ways in which domination, resistance, and terror are played out in the lives of people who live under political and military domination, the reality of war, or the horror of torture and political prisons. Organized along a continuum from situations of weakly contested domination through the development of formal resistance to conditions of violence so severe they disrupt the entire social fabric, the essays delineate the way local culture is interwoven with national and international power relations. The paradox of modern day systems of sociopolitical violence is that they are simultaneously centralized and decentralized, deliberate and chaotic. Political ideologies and (para)military force may be engendered at centralized loci of power, but their effects emerge out of configurations of various personal, local, national, and international forces. As a result, conflict today has a multilayered quality that the ethnographic fieldworker is able to capture by drawing (inter)national political forces and local cultural processes into the same arena of observation. The "field reality" provides a unique perspective on modern sociopolitical violence, one that captures the dynamic relationship between cultural processes and turmoil. National security concerns and economic interests are often the starting point of theories about conflict and its escalation into warfare. Ethnographic research offers a different and much needed view of warfare, one in which questions of strategies and military hardware are subordinated to questions about howpeople respond to political propaganda and pressure, how they imagine and enact forms of resistance, how they perceive the "lived" experience of warfare and violence, and how they ultimately define their world as a result of these experiences.