2005_11_10rev - Culture Embodiment and the Senses Thursday...

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Culture, Embodiment, and the Senses Thursday, 10 November 2005 Reading Marina Roseman, Healing Sounds from the Malaysian Rainforest: Temiar Music and Medicine, chs. 1-3, pp. 1-79. Ritual is used to exorcise negative entities. Remember Csordas and his study of Catholic Charismatics in which spirits were able to possess individuals. But this weren’t limited to only evil, as there was joy, jealousy, and lust. It was up to the person to seek exorcism. There is a modern tendency to look down on such alternative healing practices. Scheper-Hughes and Lock talked about Western bodily alienation, offering a Marxist analysis that argued for a return to the self/ soma (akin to a worker’s alienation from his product). Symbolic capital has become mechanized into the capitalistic economy. The rise of industrial capitalism has also shown the rise of schizophrenia and eating disorders. Is there something particular about Western culture that makes us so alienated? Why is the alternative medicine industry so large? What are people seeking there that they aren’t getting from traditional scientific medicine? What is the meaning that is missing? The 1970s saw the rise of the discourse of reflexivity in anthropology. What is the effect of the anthropologist on the people he/she is studying? Feminist anthropology also emerged, offering standpoint theory which most anthropologists take into account implicitly. Engagement with others is always tied into relations of power. student presentation Roseman’s focus is on the power and performance of ritual. The Temiar are people of open spaces, their lives are structured around the sounds of the rainforest. Mediums channel spirits of the rainforest. Sounds are social constructions with cultural values attached to them. Specific sounds are only wholly intelligible to members of the culture in which they occur. The Temiar had a ubiquitous concept of the upper-level soul and the lower-level soul as well as the unbounded and bounded . Everything had this dichotomy (humans, mountains, almost any entity). Humans were comprised of the following:
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2005_11_10rev - Culture Embodiment and the Senses Thursday...

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