Legends of People, Myths of State: Violence, Intolerance, and Political Culture in Sri Lanka and Australia

Legends of People, Myths of State: Violence, Intolerance, and Political Culture in Sri Lanka and Australia

By: Bruce Kapferer (author)Paperback

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The civil war in Sri Lanka and the part that nationalism seemed to play in it inspired the writing of this book some twenty-three years ago. The argument was developed through a comparative analysis of nationalism in Sri Lanka with the author's native Australia. At the time this constituted an innovative approach to comparison in anthropology, as well as to nationalism and its possibilities. It was not based on differences but on the way in which perspectives from within the two nationalisms, when seen side-by-side, could present an understanding of their implication in producing the violence of war, racism and social exclusion. The book has lost none of its importance and urgency as proven by the chapters in the Appendix, written by top scholars working in Sri Lanka and in Australia. These contributions bring together new material and critically explore the book's themes and their continued relevance to the various trajectories in nationalist processes since the first publication of the book.

About Author

Bruce Kapferer studied at the universities of Sydney and Manchester, at the latter with Max Gluckman and Clyde Mitchell. After having taught there for many years he returned to Australia to found the anthropology department at the University of Adelaide and the journal Social Analysis. Later he held Chairs in anthropology at University College London, James Cook University and most recently at the University of Bergen, Norway. Kapferer is also adjunct Professor in Anthropology at the University of Sydney and James Cook University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. His many publications include A Celebration of Demons (1983), The Feast of the Sorcerer (1997), Beyond Rationalism (ed., 2003), Aesthetics in Performance (co-ed., 2005), Crisis of the State (co-ed., 2009), and Contemporary Religiosities (co-ed., 2010).


Preface to the New and Revised Edition Preface to the Paperback Reissue Introduction Chapter 1. Cultures of Nationalism: Political Cosmology and the Passions Part I: Evil and the State: Sinhalese Naitonalism, Violence, and the Power of Hierarchy Chapter 2. Ethnic Violence and the Force of History in Legend Chapter 3. Evil, Power, and the State Chapter 4. Ideological Practice, Ethnic Nationalism, and the Passions Part II: People Against the State: Australian Nationalism and Egalitarian Individualism Chapter 5. When the World Crumbles and the Heavens Fall In: War, Death, and the Creation of Nation Chapter 6. But the Band Played "Waltzing Maltilda": National Ceremonial and the Anatomy of Egalitarianism Chapter 7. Ethnicity and Intolerance: Egalitarian Nationalism and Its Political Practice Chapter 8. Nationalism, Tradition, and Political Culture Notes References

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780857454362
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 446
  • ID: 9780857454362
  • ISBN10: 0857454366

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