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Poems to Open Palms: Praise Performance and the State in the Sultanate of Oman

01 Jan 2019-
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors trace the musical constitution of moral, economic, material, and social relations between rural communities and the state in the Sultanate of Oman and argue that communities embedded within the authoritarian state hegemony of the country form and affirm social relations with the state through its embodied proxy, via the reciprocal exchange of state-directed giving and praise poetry responses.
Abstract: Poems to Open Palms: Praise Performance and the State in the Sultanate of Oman by Bradford J. Garvey Advisor: Jane C. Sugarman This dissertation traces the musical constitution of moral, economic, material, and social relations between rural communities and the state in the Sultanate of Oman. I argue that communities embedded within the authoritarian state hegemony of the Sultanate form and affirm social relations with the state through its embodied proxy, Sultan Qābūs bin Ṣa‘īd Āl Bū Ṣa‘īd, via the reciprocal exchange of state-directed giving and praise poetry responses. The circuit of exchange catalyzes the social production of political legitimacy and ensures continued generous distribution by mythopoetically presenting such cyclicity as resulting from elite and non-elite mutuality. This praise poetry is rendered within two song and dance complexes: al-razḥa, a collective war dance with drumming and antiphonal choral singing, and al-‘āzī, a choral ode with a solo singer, tight poetic structure, and a chorus of responders. Through a close analysis of the content and context of praise poems sung by Arab men’s performance troupes experienced over a year of participant observation fieldwork, I argue that praise poetry is an overlooked site for the construction and negotiation of state political legitimacy. Drawing on heterodox and Gramscian political economy, I show how musical performance operates within broader circuits of exchange by functioning as a site wherein non-market economic logics are fused with moral, performative, and political norms. Instead of simply tracing a circuit of utilitarian exchange (praise for gifts for praise), I focus on the how gifts and their responses reciprocally negotiate social relations between state elites and non-elites. By focusing on the words and actions of nonelites as they integrate the various proffered benefits of a distributive state into their own
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Journal ArticleDOI
07 Jun 1971-JAMA
TL;DR: Professor Titmuss, an eminent English social theorist, believes that man is inherently altruistic and that the duty of government is to create that social and economic climate which best channels man's drive to work together for the common good.
Abstract: Professor Titmuss, an eminent English social theorist, believes that man is inherently altruistic and that the duty of government is to create that social and economic climate which best channels man's drive to work together for the common good. In support of this belief, he has written a book about the procurement, distribution, and transfusion of human blood, a medical topic which he employs as an illustrative social and economic microcosm. The conclusion he reaches is foregone: "The voluntary socialized system in Britain is economically, professionally, administratively and qualitatively more efficient than the mixed, commercialized, and individualistic American system" (Titmuss, R.M: "Why Give to Strangers?" Lancet 1 :123-125, 1971). As the book was written with a bias, so will it be read with bias. My own bias is that of an American and a blood-banker. I am only too conscious of many deficiencies in the American complex of arrangements—it isn't

924 citations

01 Jan 2016

497 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
13 Sep 2012-Critique
TL;DR: Thomas' Gramscian moment offers a reassessment of philosophy, hegemony, and Marxism as mentioned in this paper, with a focus on the role of race and gender in the process of political power.
Abstract: Peter D Thomas: The Gramscian Moment: Philosophy, Hegemony, and Marxism Leiden, Brill, 2009 ISBN: 978-90-04-16771-1 Alexander P Otruba Peter D Thomas' Gramscian Moment offers a reassessment of

208 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Keane as mentioned in this paper explores the implicit logic of speaking in pairs and argues that the replicability of utterances among different speakers displace utterances from persons and bespeak the transcendent authority of ancestors.
Abstract: Signs of Recognition: Powers and Hazards of Representation in an Indonesian Society. WEBB KEANE. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997; 297 pp. (paper). Anakalang is a dry, out of the way place in West Sumba, Eastern Indonesia. Here, where subsistence agriculture is the norm, neither trade nor wages play much part in people's lives. Local affairs take place in a realm largely untouched by the reach of the Indonesian state. Although most people have converted to Christianity within the last thirty years, and warfare and the headhunting that went with it have been in abeyance since the colonial era, violence and bravado still command men's image of themselves, and ancestor spirits remain important. This is where Webb Keane carried out fieldwork in the 1980s and '90s, trying to understand exchanges, formal speech, and feasting. In his remarkable and ambitious ethnography, he makes these esoteric subjects speak to general theories of representation. The result is a critique both of those approaches that treat culture as a text or as disembodied discourse and of those that lean toward economic or material reductionism. Further, Keane shows that agency is not only something individuals exercise, but also a property of groups. The main actors in formal transactions are the corporate patrilineal descent groups called kabisu and their segments known as "houses." High status kabisu, some of which constitute a nobility, assert claims as village founders, and possess ancestral heirlooms and villages with stone tombs and dancing platforms where they sponsor great feasts. Asymmetrical alliance characterizes the pattern of marriage among kabisu, with, ideally, at least one marriage each generation renewing the affinal bond. Nonetheless, long-standing affines construe each other as antagonists and constantly scrutinize the objects and words they exchange in ceremonial contexts as either a recognition of honor or grounds for offence. The ethnography sticks mostly to formal settings such as marriage negotiations, where the predominant speakers are generally not themselves party to the exchanges or decisions that occur, but merely the delegated voices of the principals. Adepts of ritual speaking lace their talk with the couplets that are a hallmark of this region and that Anakalangese regard as a legacy from an ancestral golden era. The stylized expressions bracket an event as efficacious or definitive, for this was the manner in which ancestors spoke. Much speaking in ritual events also consists of highly redundant messages relayed by go-betweens, reports and repetitions of what others have said. This agency-blurring practice, and the replicability of utterances among different speakers, Keane argues, displace utterances from persons and bespeak the transcendent authority of ancestors. Keane explores at length the implicit logic of speaking in pairs. A couplet says the same thing in two different ways, and also points to an unstated, third possibility: a gloss in colloquial speech. Couplets as a poetic device thus evince a general process of displacement where signs point to something not actually there, a semantic center that is only presupposed. Displacement is also evident in behaviors relating to slavery. …

206 citations

References
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Book
28 Mar 2001
TL;DR: In this paper, the key to the institutional system of the 19 century lay in the laws governing market economy, which was the fount and matrix of the system was the self-regulating market, and it was this innovation which gave rise to a specific civilization.
Abstract: But the fount and matrix of the system was the self-regulating market. It was this innovation which gave rise to a specific civilization. The gold standard was merely an attempt to extend the domestic market system to the international field; the balance of power system was a superstructure erected upon and, partly, worked through the gold standard; the liberal state was itself a creation of the self-regulating market. The key to the institutional system of the 19 century lay in the laws governing market economy. (p. 3).

8,514 citations

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15 Jul 1992
TL;DR: The authors provides a systematic and accessible overview of the internal logic of Bourdieu's work by explicating thematic and methodological principles underlying his work, including a theory of knowledge, practice, and society.
Abstract: Over the last three decades, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has produced one of the most imaginative and subtle bodies of social theory and research of the post war era. Yet, despite the influence of his work, no single introduction to his wide-ranging "oeuvre" is available. This book, intended for an English-speaking audience, offers a systematic and accessible overview, providing interpretive keys to the internal logic of Bourdieu's work by explicating thematic and methodological principles underlying his work. The structure of Bourdieu's theory of knowledge, practice, and society is first dissected by Loi c Wacquant; he then collaborates with Bourdieu in a dialogue in which they discuss central concepts of Bourdieu's work, confront the main objections and criticisms his work has met, and outline Bourdieu's views of the relation of sociology to philosophy, economics, history, and politics. The final section captures Bourdieu in action in the seminar room as he addresses the topic of how to practice the craft of reflexive sociology. Throughout, they stress Bourdieu's emphasis on reflexivity--his inclusion of a theory of intellectual practice as an integral component of a theory of society--and on method--particularly his manner of posing problems that permits a transfer of knowledge from one area of inquiry into another. Amplified by notes and an extensive bibliography, this synthetic view is essential reading for both students and advanced scholars. Pierre Bourdieu is Professor of Sociology at the Colle ge de France. Loi c J. D. Wacquant is a Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard University.

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Book
01 Jan 2015
TL;DR: The first selection published from Gramsci's Prison Notebooks to be made available in Britain, and was originally published in the early 1970s as discussed by the authors, was the first publication of the Notebooks in the UK.
Abstract: Antonio Gramsci's Prison Notebooks, written between 1929 and 1935, are the work of one of the most original thinkers in twentieth century Europe. Gramsci has had a profound influence on debates about the relationship between politics and culture. His complex and fruitful approach to questions of ideology, power and change remains crucial for critical theory. This volume was the first selection published from the Notebooks to be made available in Britain, and was originally published in the early 1970s. It contains the most important of Gramsci's notebooks, including the texts of The Modern Prince, and Americanism and Fordism, and extensive notes on the state and civil society, Italian history and the role of intellectuals. 'Far the best informative apparatus available to any foreign language readership of Gramsci.' Perry Anderson, New Left Review 'A model of scholarship' New Statesman

4,464 citations

Book
01 Jan 1983
TL;DR: Time and the Other as discussed by the authors is a critique of the notions that anthropologists are "here and now," their objects of study are "there and then", and that the "other" exists in a time not contemporary with our own.
Abstract: Fabian's study is a classic in the field that changed the way anthropologists relate to their subjects and is of immense value not only to anthropologists but to all those concerned with the study of man. A new foreward by Matti Bunzl brings the influence of Fabian's study up to the present. Time and the Other is a critique of the notions that anthropologists are "here and now," their objects of study are "there and then," and that the "other" exists in a time not contemporary with our own.

4,085 citations