GrammarsPaper2 - Eric Stern 1 Grammars Paper The Three...

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Eric Stern 1 Grammars Paper The Three Grammars and Relativity When two different groups of people come into contact for the first time, there is often a need to state how one group compares and contrasts with the other. Gerd Baumann terms this action the process of “selfing and othering” (Baumann 19). To accomplish this task, Baumann turns to the social models of Edward Said, E.E. Evans- Pritchard, and Louis Dumont. The models constructed by these three people, dubbed grammar, are used by Baumann to explain the social and cultural interactions between different clusters of people. The first grammar that Baumann explains is Said’s orientalism. This grammar divides the two groups into an “us” and an “other”, but does not state that one group is better then it’s counterpart. Orientalism often classifies groups based on relativity, as one group maybe more social, but less politically structured then the other. Baumann uses this grammar to classify differences among factions without judging (Baumann). Secondly, Baumann expands upon Evans-Pritchard’s model of segmentation. The grammar of segmentation focuses on the large and small divisions of a people, and how eventually, the entire collection is comes together under a similar name. Baumann uses the Nuer peole of Sudan to illustrate his point. At the lowest level, the Nuer are a collection of lineages that have blood-feuds with one another. Moving to a lever slightly higher, each clan is composed of multiple lineages, even though these lineages may have fought with one another. However, they will put aside their differences to act as a cohesive clan. Further higher still, the Nuer people are composed of many different clans and tribes that all came together when forced with a common foe, such as the British Empire when it invaded Nuerland (Baumann).
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2 The final grammar that Baumann relates is Dumont’s encompassment.
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GrammarsPaper2 - Eric Stern 1 Grammars Paper The Three...

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