Download Violent Memories: Mayan War Widows In Guatemala by Judith Zur PDF

By Judith Zur

This neighborhood examine of the influence of political violence on a Maya Indian village relies on extensive fieldwork within the division of El Quiché, Guatemala, in the course of 1988–1990. It examines the procedures of fragmentation and realignment in a group present process swift and violent swap and relates neighborhood, social, cultural, and mental phenomena to the effect of the battle on widows’ lives.Zur combines a story, life-history method with anthropological research, emphasizing the way in which humans speak about and clarify the violence. She describes the survival suggestions of widows and their makes an attempt to reconstruct their lives, either on a actual point and by way of which means, and reveals that “remembering” isn't really easily the automated engagement of the previous in the current, yet a procedure that permits widows to find new probabilities for motion and for reshaping their very own positions in society.

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All contact with the patrdn should be and generally is negotiated by men (fathers, husbands, sons) and most women are happy with this arrangement. Cultural restraints and domestic responsibilities meant that women also had less opportunity to learn Spanish through the catechist movement or adult education classes. These attitudes perpetuate low Spanish language and literacy rates among women: over 60 percent of Indian womenn are monolingual and only 15 percent are literate (CIT-GUA Studies 19871989).

Whilst analysis of 'structural* violence — which should include violence in a metaphorical sense such as the denial of civil, soc and human rights or, in Weber's terms, "life chances"24 (which have been systematically denied to the descendants of the Maya since the Conquest) — is clearly important, it does not tell the whole story: it misses the reasons people give about why a particular event sparks off violence, why this one becomes 'the straw that breaks the camel's back', what it means in terms of local values and beliefs, why some people interpret them one way, some another.

I was interested in finding out how people survived and which cultural practices became meaningful in opposition to authorities who deny Mstory on both a local and national level. However, "[djependence on a single kind of source or even on limited kinds of sources is bound to lead to a partial history" (Staves, in Hill 1993:38) and this book goes some way towards completing the picture. The underlying assumption behind these questions is that many aspects of human cognition me founded on universals, that is, all human beings have the same psychodynamic blueprint and logically, these dynamics follow predictable pattens vis-d-vis certain external stimuli(such as extreme violence).

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