By Aihwa Ong
Read or Download Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America (Public Anthropology, 5) PDF
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Extra resources for Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America (Public Anthropology, 5)
Despite the lip service paid to the principles of human rights, modern political sovereignty is based on the power to exclude or kill what Agamben calls “bare life,” in order to constitute the foundation of the nation-state and deﬁne the status of citizenship in biopolitical terms. This ambiguity in the concept of citizenship cannot be revealed by a study of formal laws or by relying on a notion of citizenship as something that is simply possessed (like a passport), but rather through an ethnographic investigation of the political reasonings and practices that assess groups differently and assign them different fates.
66 The individual is never totally objectiﬁed or rationalized by state agencies and civic associations, nor can the individual totally escape the power effects of their regulatory schemes. But Foucault too rarely tells us how subjects resist the schemes of control, or how their tactics and outcomes are culturally creative, and frequently surprising. By exploring the day-to-day experiences of Cambodian refugees in the context of Foucault’s power–resistance axis, I demonstrate how liberal governance in its everyday form entails a certain violent subjection in the process of becoming free, so to speak.
While the ideal woman was submissive and obedient, rural Cambodian women shared with their counterparts elsewhere in Southeast Asia a reputation for running their households, engaging in trade, and pushing their husbands around. 36 Thus, Cambodian men’s memories of overwhelming male power at home must be taken with a grain of salt. In Oakland, Peter conﬁded that the Cambodian husband’s need to maintain authority over his wife placed limits on conﬁdences, and thus on conjugal intimacy. ” 37 Men made many big decisions without consultation, he said.
Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America (Public Anthropology, 5) by Aihwa Ong