Power and Intimacy in the Christian Philippines / Edition 1

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The lowland Philippines, in contrast to the apparently "exotic", "tribal" areas, has for many years been thought of as a strangely Westernized place, without a cultural life of its own. This innovative and important book shows that this perception is a myth, which reflects our own obsessions with defining culture and identity as something "unchanging." Through an absorbing account of arranged marriages, miraculous saint cults, spirit mediumship and gay beauty contests, the author describes the unexpectedness of daily life in rural Bicol and the resilience and imagination of the Filipino poor.

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Editorial Reviews

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"Cannell provides a reading of Bicolano culture that encompasses a history of colonialism and an explication of the ways that awareness of power and powerlessness infuses daily life." Choice
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Glossary; Note on language and names; Introduction: mountains and plains; Part I. Marriage: 1. Marriage stories: speaking of reluctance and control; 2. Kinship and the ritualisation of marriage; Part II. Healing and the Spirits: 3. Introduction: healing and the 'people who have nothing'; 4. Spirit mediums and spirit-companions; 5. Spirit mediums and seance forms: changing relations to the spirit world; 6. Coda: the birthday-parties of the spirits; Part III. Saints and the Dead: 7. The living and the dead; 8. The funeral of the 'dead Christ'; 9. Kinship, reciprocity and devotions to the saints; Part IV. Beauty Contests: 10. Beauty and the idea of 'America'; 11. Conclusion: oppression, pity and transformation; Appendix; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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