The Funeral Casino: Meditation, Massacre, and Exchange with the Dead in Thailand / Edition 1

The Funeral Casino: Meditation, Massacre, and Exchange with the Dead in Thailand / Edition 1

by Alan Klima
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691074607

ISBN-13: 9780691074603

Pub. Date: 02/11/2002

Publisher: Princeton University Press

The Funeral Casino is a heretical ethnography of the global age. Setting his book within Thailand's pro-democracy movement and the street massacres that accompanied it, Alan Klima offers a strikingly original interpretation of mass-mediated violence through a study of funeral gambling and Buddhist meditation on death.

The fieldwork for the book began in

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Overview

The Funeral Casino is a heretical ethnography of the global age. Setting his book within Thailand's pro-democracy movement and the street massacres that accompanied it, Alan Klima offers a strikingly original interpretation of mass-mediated violence through a study of funeral gambling and Buddhist meditation on death.

The fieldwork for the book began in 1992, when a freewheeling market of illegal "massacre-imagery" videos blossomed in Bangkok on the very site where, days earlier, for the third time in two decades, a military-controlled government had killed scores of unarmed pro-democracy protesters. Such killings and their subsequent representation have lent force to Thailand's transition from military control to a "media-financial complex." Probing the ways in which death is marketed, visualized, and remembered through practices both local and global, Klima inverts conventional relationships between ethnography and theory through a compelling narrative that reveals a surprising new direction available to anthropology and critical theory.

Ethnography here engages with the philosophy of activism and the politics of memory, media representation of violence, and globalization. In focusing on the particular array of tactics in Thai Buddhism and protest politics for connecting death and life, past and present, this book unveils a vivid and haunting picture of community, responsibility, and accountability in the new world order.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691074603
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/11/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations vii

Note on Transcription and Monetary Conversion ix

Acknowledgments xi

1. Introduction 1

PART I: The Passed

2. The New World: Bangkok and the World Order without History 31

3. Revolting History: The Necromantic Power of Public Massacres 53

4. Bloodless Power: A Moral Economy of the Thai Crowd 89

5. Repulsiveness of the Body Politic: An Economics of the Black May Massacre 122

PART II: Kamma

6. The Charnel Ground: Visions of Death in Buddhist Asceis and the Redemption of Mechanical Reproduction 169

7. The Funeral Casino: A Mindful Economy 231

Notes 291

Bibliography 305

Index 313

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