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Disorderly Discourse: Narrative, Conflict, and Inequality

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Overview

Involving everything from war to playground disputes, narratives generate, sustain, mediate, and represent conflict at levels of social organization. Still, despite the vast amount of research that has been conducted on conflict and narrative in a number of disciplines, the way they interrelate has seldom been explored in any depth; in fact, most studies treat narrative merely as a source of information about conflict rather then as a part of conflict processes. The contributors to this collection argue that language consists of socially and politically situated practices that are differentially distributed on the basis of gender, class, race, ethnicity, and other categories. They draw on new approaches to the study of both discourse and political processes in challenging previous assumptions about narrative and social conflict as they interpret disputes that emerge in a variety of settings in Brazil, Fiji, Crete, Mexico, the United States, and Venezuela. These essays substantially further our theoretical and methodological understanding of narrative and conflict and how they intersect.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This collection constitutes a significant contribution to anthropological linguistics, the ethnography of communication, ethnolinguistics, and sociolinguistics. It will interest students of conflict/conflict talk in several fields."--Allen Grimshaw, Indiana University

"[T]he essays reveal a great deal about the ethnographic realities of the present, and they show that linguistic anthropology can be particularly effective at illuminating cultural phenomena."--Journal of Anthropological Research

"This collection is blessed with an excellent and very thorough introduction as well as a high standard of carefully written, individual essays. It should appeal to a broad readership...will interest those intrigued with broadly philosophical questions about narrative."--American Anthropologist

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Contributors
Introduction 3
Telling Troubles: Narrative, Conflict, and Experience 41
The Trickster's Scattered Self 53
Embarrassment as Pride: Narrative Resourcefulness and Strategies of Normativity Among Cretan Animal-Thieves 72
Detective Stories at Dinnertime: Problem Solving Through Co-Narration 95
Ideological Dissonance in the American Legal System 114
Consensus and Dissent in U.S. Legal Opinions: Narrative Structure and Social Voices 135
"We Want to Borrow Your Mouth": Tzotzil Marital Squabbles 158
Conflict, Language Ideologies, and Privileged Arenas of Discursive Authority in Warao Dispute Mediations 204
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