Orphans Of Islam / Edition 310

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Overview

Orphans of Islam portrays the abject lives and 'excluded body' of abandoned and bastard children in contemporary Morocco, while critiquing the concept and practice of 'adoption,' which too often is considered a panacea. Through a close and historically grounded reading of legal, social, and cultural mechanisms of one predominantly Islamic country, Jamila Bargach shows how 'the surplus bastard body' is created by mainstream society. Written in part from the perspectives of the children and single mothers, intermittently from the view of 'adopting' families, and employing bastardy as a haunting and empowering motif with a potentially subversive edge, this ethnography is composed as an intricate, open-ended, and arabesque-like evocation of Moroccan society and its state institutions. It equally challenges received sociological and anthropological tropes and understandings of the Arab world.
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Editorial Reviews

Anthropological Quarterly
Orphans of Islam succeeds as a combination rich ethnography and sophisticated theoretical analysis. Bargach does an exceptional job of capturing and translating the eloquence of her interlocutors. ...a book that demonstrates the merits of writing anthropology that attends to the local and the global, the textual and embodied, and the ascetics and politics of ethnographic representation.
International Journal Of Middle East Studies
[Bargach's] book is a vital pioneering foundation that could continue to affect social change. I hope that she will continue and others will build and apply this information, bringing society to a higher level and these victims of society closer to social justice and to the basic human dignity of belonging and connection that every person deserves.
— Mahasin Saleh, University of Houston
George Marcus
This is a fine example of how meticulous ethnography of extraordinary power is 'found' in the course of fieldwork that is both rigorous and guided by profound personal connection. Bargach has caught Moroccan society in a revealing contradiction and produces an account from it that is both ethical and honorable.
International Journal Of Middle East Studies - Mahasin Saleh
[Bargach's] book is a vital pioneering foundation that could continue to affect social change. I hope that she will continue and others will build and apply this information, bringing society to a higher level and these victims of society closer to social justice and to the basic human dignity of belonging and connection that every person deserves.
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im
Through incisive analysis, disciplined passion, and moving prose, Jamila Bargach exposes in this book some of the hidden ambiguities of culture, religion, and power in her own society to the light of thoughtful compassion and humanizing possibilities of redress. This is a truly courageous and inspiring book, confronting silent conspiracies of shame and victimization of innocence with the transforming power of love and truth to enable human agency to overcome its own limitations. An eye opener to see injustice where least acknowledged, and an empowering voice for the oppressed everywhere.
George Marcus
This is a fine example of how meticulous ethnography of extraordinary power is "found" in the course of fieldwork that is both rigorous and guided by profound personal connection. Bargach has caught Moroccan society in a revealing contradiction and produces an account from it that is both ethical and honorable.
Booknews
Bargach, who did her fieldwork in her native Morocco (for a doctorate in cultural anthropology at Rice U. in Houston; she now teaches social sciences at the National School of Architecture in Morocco), attempts to situate the widespread practice of child abandonment and customs of adoption within the mores of Moroccan society. Her work is complex and multi-layered, tempering the stories of women and children gained from numerous interviews with current theoretical approaches to ethnography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742500273
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Series: Alterations Series , #2
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 310
  • Pages: 310
  • Sales rank: 1,371,874
  • Product dimensions: 0.65 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamila Bargach received her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Rice University. Currently she resides in Morocco where she is assistant professor of social sciences at the National School of Architecture.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Notes on Transliteration and Transcription Chapter 2 Preface and Acknowledgements Part 3 Introduction(s): Object/Subject, Discipline/Argument Part 4 I: Defining Moves: From Text to Script and From Script to Text Chapter 5 1 Legal Throes: Genealogies and Debates of Kafala, Adoption, and Abandoned Children Chapter 6 2 Counterpoints: The Idiom of Adoption between Theological Interpretation, the Rise of the Nation-State and the "Real" Part 7 II: Rootless Lives and Bloodless Ties: Bastards, Secret Adoptions, and Some Other Cultural Dialectics Chapter 8 3 Of Anthropology: Nature, Nurture, and Kinship Chapter 9 4 Of Rituals: Names, Affiliation, and Identity Chapter 10 5 Of Culture: Loci, Lore, and Stereotypes Part 11 III: Nothing Above Family: To Reflect on Marginality Chapter 12 6 News From the Art, Intellectual and Media Fronts: Reflections on and Representations of Marginality Chapter 13 7 Social Work at Work: Or What Politics for What Help? Chapter 14 8 Civil Society and Social Work: Or the Politics of What Help? (Continued) Part 15 Postface Chapter 16 Notes Chapter 17 Index
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