Anda di halaman 1dari 20

unequal international terms of trade and it is expressed locally in exploitative labor markets, marketing arrangements and the monopolization

of services.

A B S T R A C T The Cold War sanitized the authors analysis of political violence among revolutionary peasants in El Salvador during the 1980s. A 20-year retrospective analysis of his fieldnote(s) documents the ways political terror and repression become embedded in daily interactions that normalize interpersonal brutality in a dynamic of everyday violence. Furthermore, the structural, symbolic and interpersonal violence that accompanies both revolutionary mobilization and also labor migration to the US inner city follows gendered fault lines. The snares of symbolic violence in counterinsurgency war spawn mutual recrimination and shame, obfuscating the role of an oppressive power structure. Similarly, everyday violence in a neoliberal version of peacetime facilitates the administration of the subordination of the poor who blame themselves for character failings. Ethnographys challenge is to elucidate the causal chains and gendered linkages in the continuum of violence that buttresses inequality in the post-Cold War era.

In the revolutionary setting of El Salvador, I was eager to document the effective capacity of the dominated to resist state repression while, in the United States, I struggled to explain the politically demobilizing effect of interpersonal conflict and self-destruction that suffuses life in the inner city. Most importantly, my Cold War lenses led me to under-report and misrec- ognize the power of violence to buttress patterns of social inequality and to de-politicize attempts to oppose oppression in war-time El Salvador. By contrast, in the racialized urban core of the United States, I was able to critique the demobilizing effects of everyday violence by showing how it resulted from the internalization of historically entrenched structural violence as expressed in a banalized maelstrom of interpersonal and delinquent aggression.

Symbolic Violence: The concept of symbolic

violence was developed by Pierre Bourdieu to uncover how domination operates on an intimate level via the misrecognition of power structures on the part of the dominated who collude in their own oppression to the extent that every time they per- ceive and judge the social order through categories that make it appear natural and self-evident.
Everyday Violence: I find it more useful to limit

Definitions of Violence
Political Violence: Violence directly and purposefully administered in the name of a political ideology, movement, or state such as the physical repression of dissent by the army or the police as well as its con- verse, popular armed struggle against a repressive regime. Structural Violence: refers to the political-

the notion to the routine practices and expressions of interpersonal aggression that serve to normalize violence at the micro-level such as domestic, delinquent and sexual conflict, and even substance abuse. My narrower definition is also geared to depicting how everyday violence can grow and coalesce into a culture of terror to invoke Taussig (1987) that establishes a commonsense normalizing violence in the public and private spheres alike.
The reinterpreta- tion of my ethnographic data that follows will show how, in revolutionary El Salvador, I was unable to recognize the distinctiveness of everyday violence and therefore to discern it as a product of political and structural vio- lence, even though I had understood it at the interface of structural and symbolic violence in the US inner city.

economic organization of society that imposes con- ditions of physical and emotional distress, from high morbidity and mortality rates to poverty and abusive working conditions. It is rooted, at the macro-level, in structures such as

The Cold War politics of representation in El Salvador


At the time, it appeared to me that state repression of the civilian population was backfiring. I thought that the pain, fear and anguish caused by the military campaign was strengthening the ideological and emotional commit- ment of the civilian population to rebellion, in short, that repression was radicalizing the marginalized small farmers. The Salvadoran peasants were then organizing around an ideology that syncretized catholic liberation theology, Marxist class struggle, romantic socialist populism and, finally, social vengeance and personal dignity (Bourgois, 1982b). Most significant to me at the time was the quasi-messianic quality of their rejection of humiliation and exploitation by landlords and the rural paramilitaries. It seemed to me then that they were inverting a symbolic violence that, for generations, had naturalized the abuse of dark-skinned, illiterate campesinos. . . . from being the most despised creatures on earth (i.e., landless or land-poor laborers, giving obligatory days worth of labor to overbearing landowners) to becoming the leaders of history: the people the Bible prophesizes about. They felt honored to die for their cause because before its advent they had been half dead and it hurt. (Bourgois, 1982b: 24)

unworthy violence that confuses and demobilizes the socially vulner- able in neo-liberal democratic societies. My concern with differentiating good from bad violence, and for separating out politically progressive from self- destructive and irresponsible violence, blinded me to the profoundly disabling nature of political violence in Central America

Specifically, I failed to see how political repression and resistance in wartime reverberate in a dynamic of everyday violence akin to that produced by the fusing of structural and symbolic violence during peacetime.

Instead, I constructed a Gramscian-inspired explanation for why the guerilla experience of repressive political violence in El Salvador could be interpreted as humanly uplifting and politically liberating through the physi- cal pain and anger it generated. I opposed that dynamic to the everyday acts of violence that I had witnessed in East Harlem, which I interpreted as the expression of false consciousness in a structurally and symbolically oppressive society that no longer needs to wield political violence to buttress structures of inequality. On an empirical level, whereas I amply docu- mented the range of suffering caused by structural and symbolic violence in a socially polarized society during peacetime, I oversimplified and understated the ramifications of terror in a repressive society torn by civil war.

The neoliberal politics of representation in El Barrio, USA


In contrast to what I took to be the liberating dynamic of political violence in El Salvador, I understood the everyday violence that pervades the US inner city, described in the second opening vignette, as strictly oppressive and demobilizing. The crack commerce scene offered a window onto the mechanisms whereby structural and sym- bolic violence fuse to translate into everyday violence: extreme segregation, social inequality and material misery are expressed at ground level in inter- personal conflicts that the socially vulnerable inflict mainly onto themselves (via substance abuse), onto their kin and friends (through domestic violence and adolescent gang rape), and onto their neighbors and community (with burglaries, robberies, assaults, drive-by shootings, etc.). The result is a local- ized culture of terror (Taussig, 1987) or a heightened level of everyday vio- lence that enforces the boundaries of what I call US urban apartheid (Bourgois, 1995). As noted long ago by Laura Nader (1972), anthropological accounts based on participant observation among the powerless risk publicly humiliating them. This is especially true in the context of the hegemonic US neo-liberal ideology which, by definition, considers the poor as morally suspect. Yet I was theoretically and politically committed to fully documenting the ramifying social suffer- ing caused by extreme social and economic marginality in East Harlem. This quandary encouraged me to focus on structural violence and later symbolic violence, which by definition shift attention onto the broader, macro-level, power inequalities that condition everyday violence. For, throughout my analysis, I maintained a moral opposition between worthy political violence that rallies t he subordinate in the face of repression by an authoritarian state versus

Rewriting fieldnotes from the Salvadoran Civil War


A decade later, conversa- tions with guerilla fighters and their families demonstrate that those kinds of blames and feelings of betrayal over human failures abound in counter- insurgency warfare. They are an inevitable part of surviving military repres- sion and they contribute to a form of symbolic violence whereby survivors focus their recriminations on their fellow victims as well as their own char- acter flaws, rather than on the agents who actually perpetrated terror. The result is often a traumatized silencing of the brutal events by witnesses who blame themselves for what they had to do to survive. If my companions from that final night of flight survived until the end of the war, they likely still feel survivor guilt today. 5 Throughout the civil war, US and Salvadoran government propaganda denounced the guerilla(s) for hiding amidst the civilians and thereby causing them to be killed in the crossfire. The FMLN leadership itself was divided over its policy of encouraging and at times demanding civilians and family members of fighters to remain in the war zones. Spouses were often in bitter disagreement over this issue. In retrospect, mothers sometimes hold husbands responsible for the death of their children because the latter insisted on remaining in their home village to support the FMLN. Once again, such a liminal space of death (Taussig, 1987) or gray zone (Levi, 1986) obfuscates responsibility from those primarily responsible for the terror in this case the US-trained and supported Salvadoran military. Instead, the snares of symbolic violence in the form of confusing

feelings of inadequacy, guilt and mutual recriminations divert attention away from the repressive political violence that created the conditions of terror which imposed a bitter choice between survival and betrayal.

Gendering the mesh of violence


Carmen also owes over $1000 in bills to the county hospital. She is paying these bills on an installment plan because she fears that defaulting might jeopardize her application for permanent residency. She cannot petition for legal visas for her five children to immigrate until the United States grants her a green card. In other words, she is enmeshed in the structural violence of a global sweatshop economy that is accentuated by her gendered vulnerability as a mother separated from her children. Carmen was excluded from land which was given to them in a treaty. Her story adds a crucial gender dynamic to the way political, structural and symbolic violence mesh and become expressed as everyday violence at the interpersonal level. Brother killed . Was dating a girl, who then dated a commander. Commander killed the brother fearing he would sell out the FNMN because of this. Stories of internal killings over sexual jealousy were not runof-the-mill in the FMLN but they would not surprise anyone close to the everyday reality of guerilla struggles. A veteran fighter can excuse the commander for having killed Carmens brother because it is plausible that, in his heartbreak over losing his love, Carmens brother might indeed have murdered his comman- der or denounced the location of the guerilla encampment to the military authorities and endangered dozens of fighters. Romantic jealousy results in comrades-in-arms killing one another over mere suspicions. The normaliza- tion of violence during wartime El Salvador made it appear necessary to kill Carmens brother. Note also how the killing is ultimately blamed on the promiscuity and machi- nations of the girlfriend, rather than an abuse of power by the local FMLN commander: And you know the girl who got my brother killed. . . . She is still around. Shes one of those women who like to play her men dirty and then pit them against each other. To this day, the grief that Carmens kin carry with them is sullied by public suspicion that the murder may have been justified. It illuminates the way gender power relations under rural patriarchy fuel the coalescence of political, structural and sym- bolic violence to render even more natural the personal aggression that con- stitutes everyday violence. The commanders did not like her because she is a woman who liked to go with a lot of men. In other words, Carmen was believed to have had too many boyfriends during the armed struggle. The accusation that Carmen did not deserve land because she was promis- cuous resulted in her being unable to support five children in her home village after the war ended. Carmens deepest pain, far worse than the physical pain she still feels from the shrapnel embedded in her spine and from

Violence in war and peace


During the summer of 1994, with the Cold War over, I revisited the same resettled villages of guerilla fighters and supporters where I had been trapped during the military attack of 1981. Most immediately tangible was the silent brutality of economic oppression. My first set of field notes from that visit describe the intersection of the scars of structural and political violence on the local ecology and the bodies of residents: Due to land scarcity the villagers are forced to farm steep, rocky terrain. As if to add insult to injury, badly healed wounds from the war make it difficult for many of the young men to hobble up to their awkwardly pitched milpas [plots]. Nevertheless, years later, doubts persist over the moral worth of the hapless mother, yet again blurring the boundary between hero and villain in counter-insurgency war. Merely posing the ques- tion in the context of the continuing structural violence endured by the former fighters and their families felt like an insult. In contrast to what I had thought I observed in 1981, however, they did not consider their mobilization into armed struggle to be empower- ing or liberating. Although they were generally proud at having supported the guerilla struggle, at the same time they felt betrayed by the leadership. This frequently slid into a self-deprecating sense of having been duped. Yet once again, a bunch of petty-bourgeois intellectuals on a power-trip fantasy of revolution mobilized thousands of peasants to kill and betray one another, only to drop them later like hot potatoes when the going got tough and boring. Through an almost mimetic process, the governments brutality was transposed into the guerillas organizational structures and internal relations, as violence became a banal instrumental necessity. There are several well-known prominent examples of internecine killings within the FMLN leadership. The normalization of internecine violence in the broader context of political violence makes sense if the extent of the pain and terror that political repres- sion causes is fully appreciated as a pressure cooker generating everyday violence through the systematic distortion of social relations and sensibilities. It also helps explain why El Salvador had the highest per capita homicide rate in the western hemisphere during the 1990s after the end of the Civil War. In point of fact, more Salvadorans have been killed by criminal violence during the decade following the peace accords on New Years Eve of 1991, than died during the last 10 years of the war: 6250 per year perished during the 1980s as against 8700 to 11,000 killed every year during the 1990s (DeCesare, 1998: 234; Wallace, 2000).

her other bodily ailments (migraines, ulcer and repetitive strain injury), is the shame and sorrow of having abandoned her children, and of dividing them up for safekeeping. But Carmen also likes to dance and her partner does not, so she goes out on Saturday nights by herself. The result is physical fights between Carmen and her companion. Carmen cannot escape everyday violence in her attempt to recreate a new conjugal household in the United States. My fieldnotes over the years contain numerous references to the ways vio- lence follows gendered fault lines and becomes an accepted way to solve com- munity anxieties in wartime. Later someone explained to me in private that this friend had been mis- takenly accused of being a Salvadoran military spy and had been murdered in 1988. The reason she had been suspected was that, as a single mother without a husband to help support her four children, she had earned her income during those precarious years at the end of the war by traveling to the capital controlled by the Salvadoran military to sell ice cream in the central plaza. It was then suspected that she was providing him with information on what was occurring in her home village where everyone supported the guerilla(s) and where the army still tried to kill people in periodic military sweeps and aerial bombardments. The mere sus- picion that she was a sapo (spy) sufficed for the local guerilla commander in her village to order the woman killed during those volatile final years of government repression and undercover infiltration. Ten years later everyone recognizes that her ajusticimiento (justice killing) was an unfortunate error.

(Bourdieu, 1997: 233; empha- sis added) You cannot cheat with the law of the conservation of violence: all violence is paid for. . . . The structural violence exerted by the financial markets, in the form of layoffs, loss of security, etc., is matched sooner or later in the form of suicides, crime and delinquency, drug addiction, alcoholism, a whole host of minor and major everyday acts of violence. (Bourdieu, 1998: 40; original emphasis) Political, economic and institutional forces shape microinterpersonal and emotional interactions in all kinds of ways by supporting or suppressing modes of feeling and manifestations of love or aggression, definitions of respect and achievement, and patterns of insecurity and competition. Javier Auyero (2000), for example, sees a verification of Bourdieus law of the conservation of violence in the linkages he has unearthed between the restructuring of Argentinas deregulated economy and the rise of predatory delinquency and substance abuse in the shantytowns of Buenos Aires. In the United States, the fusing of structural and symbolic violence produces especially destructive but persistent patterns of interpersonal violence that reinforce the legitimacy of social inequality in the public eye. Racism, unemployment, economic exploitation and infra- structural decay are exacerbated by the indignity of being a poor person of color in a white, Protestant-dominated country that is the richest in the world. This nourishes among the excluded an angry sense of inferiority that results in acts of self-destructive or communal violence which in turn further fuel a cycle of humiliation and demobilizing self-blame. Out of this dynamic grows an oppositional, inner-city street culture especially among youth that fills the vacuum left by unemployment, underemployment and social dis- investment. The centrality of structural violence in this process becomes obscured by a maelstrom of everyday violence (expressed as crimi- nal and domestic aggression) that in turn propagates a symbolic violence which convinces the dominated that they are to blame at least partially for the destitution and destruction visited upon them. Everyday violence is a solvent of human integrity. Through gripping descriptions, harrowing photographs and seductive poetics, ethnographers risk contributing to a pornography of violence that reinforces negative per- ceptions of subordinated groups in the eyes of unsympathetic readers Those who confront violence with resistance whether it be cultural or political do not escape unscathed from the terror and oppression they rise up against. The challenge of ethnography, then, is to check the impulse to sanitize and instead to clarify the chains of causality that link structural, political, and symbolic violence in the production of an everyday violence that buttresses unequal power relations and distorts efforts at resistance. In the post-Cold War era, a better understanding of these complex linkages is especially important because it is international market forces rather than politically-driven repression or armed resistance that is waging war for the hearts and minds of populations.

. The urgency of documenting and denouncing state violence and military repression blinded me to the internecine everyday violence embroiling the guerilla(s) and undermining their internal solidarity. As a result I could not understand the depth of the trauma that political violence imposes on its targets, even those mobilized to resist it. This is not to deny, however, that the peasants also took pride in mobilizing in support of the FLMN to demand their rights (cf. Wood, 2000).

Beyond a pornography of violence


In Pascalian Meditations, Bourdieu (1997: 233) warns that the particularly degrading effects of symbolic violence, in particular that exerted against stig- matized populations, . . . makes it . . . difficult to talk about the dominated in an accurate and realistic way without seeming either to crush them or exalt them. He identifies the inclination to violence that is engendered by early and constant exposure to violence as one of the most tragic effects of the condition of the dominated and notes that the active violence of people is often [directed against] ones own companions in misfortune. And he sketches the following causal chain: The violence exerted everyday in families, factories, workshops, banks, offices, police stations, prisons, even hospitals and schools . . . is, in the last analysis, the product of the inert violence of economic structures and social mechan- isms relayed by the active violence of people.

Bourgois, P. 2001. The Power of Violence in War and Peace: Post-Cold War Lessons from El Salvador. Abstract - Cold war sanitized the authors analysis of political violence among revolutionary peasants in El Salvador in the 1980s - 20 year retrospective analysis of fieldnotes documented the ways that political terror and repression became embedded in daily interactions that normalize interpersonal brutality in a dynamic of everyday violence - Structural, symbolic and interpersonal violence that accompanies both revolutionary mobilization and labour migration to US inner city follows gendered fault lines - Everyday violence as a neo-liberal version of peacetime facilitates the administration of subordination of the poor who blame themselves for character failings - Ethnographys challenge to elucidate the casual chains and gendered linkages in the continuum of violence that buttresses inequality in the post-war era - Violence among revolutionary peasants in El Salvador and among secondgeneration Puerto Rican crack dealers in New York - Interest in disseminating the forms and meanings assumed by violence in war and peace in order to document the ways in which either challenges or buttressed the inequalities of power - In El Salvador wanted to document the effective capacity of the dominated to resist state repression while in the US he struggled to explain the politically demobilizing effect of interpersonal conflict and self-destruction that suffuses life in the inner city - He now returns to these 1980s accounts with additional ethnographic insight - Cold-war lens led him to underestimate the power of violence to buttress patterns of social inequality and to de-politicized attempts to oppose oppression in war in El Salvador - Found it useful to distinguish between 4 types of violence: political, structural, symbolic and everyday violence

Political Violence: violence directly and purposefully administered in the name of a political ideology, movement or state Structural Violence: political-economic organization of society that imposes conditions of physical and emotional distress Symbolic Violence: developed by Bourdieu to uncover how domination operates on an intimate level via the misrecognition of power structures on the part of the dominated who collude in their own oppression to the extent that every time they perceive and judge the social order through categories that make it appear natural and self-evident Everyday Violence: most eloquently developed by Nancy Scheper-Hughes to call attention on a more phenomenological level to peace-time crimes, the small wars and invisible genocides that plague the poor around the world. Tends to conflate everyday violence with structural and institutional violence. Bourgois suggests it is more useful to limit the notion to routine practices and expressions of interpersonal aggression that serve to normalize violence at the micro-level such as domestic, delinquent and sexual conflict, even substance abuse.

The Cold War Politics of Representation in El Salvador - Research in a conflict ridden area where most of the population supported the FMLN guerrilla fighters - Vast violence killing of civilians, destroying land and crops etc. - Bourgois eventually reached the safety of a refugee - At the time it appeared to him that state repression of civilian population was backfiring thought that the pain, fear and anguish caused by the military campaign was strengthening the ideological and emotional commitment of the civilian population to rebel, in short, that repression was radicalizing the marginalized small farmers - Understood the mobilization into armed struggle to be socially as well as individually liberating

The Neo-liberal politics of representation in El Bario, USA - Contrary to El Salvador, saw the everyday violence of US inner city as oppressive and demobilizing - Crack commerce was a scene in which structural and symbolic violence fused to translate into everyday violence: extreme segregation, social inequality and material misery are expressed at ground level in interpersonal conflicts that the socially vulnerable inflict mainly onto themselves (via substance abuse), onto their kin and friends (via domestic violence) and onto their neighbours and community (robbery etc.) - During his analysis he unknowingly mimicked cold war ideology maintained the opposition between worthy political violence that rallies the subordinate in the face of repression by authoritarian state versus unworthy violence that confuses and demobilizes the socially vulnerable in neo-liberal democratic societies. - He failed to recognise how political repression and resistance in wartime reverberate in a dynamic of everyday violence akin to that produced by the fusing of structural and symbolic violence during peacetime - Instead he adopted a Gramscian stance to explain why the experience of repressive political violence in El Salvador could be interpreted as humanly uplifting and politically liberating through the physical pain and anger generated. Opposed this to the everyday violence in Harlem which he interpreted as the expression of false consciousness in a structurally and symbolically oppressive society that no longer needs to wield political violence to buttress inequality. Some sections missed Beyond a pornography of violence - Bourdieu warns against the particularly degrading effects of symbolic violence, in particular that exerted against stigmatized populationsmakes itdifficult to talk about the dominated in an accurate and realistic way without seeming either to crush them or exalt them.

In post-cold war, end of the century Latin America, neoliberal actively dynamizes everyday violence. In the US, a fusing of structural and symbolic violence produces especially destructive but persistent patterns of interpersonal violence that reinforce the legitimacy of social inequality in the public eye. Ethnographers run the risk of contributing to a pornography of violence that reinforces negative perceptions of groups in the eye of unsympathetic readers People do not simply survive violence as if it remained outside of them and they are rarely, if ever, ennobled by it. The challenge of ethnographers is to address clarify the chains of causality that link structural, political and symbolic violence in the production of an everyday violence that buttresses unequal power relations and distorts the effects of resistance

Comes a Time We Are All Enthusiasm: Understanding Palestinian Suicide Bombers in Times of Exighophobia
Ghassan Hage
While addressing the Israeli governments use of Palestinian suicide bombers (PSBs) as an excuse for transforming cities into rubble, I pointed out that to a large degree the Israeli government shared with the suicide bombers a lack of concern with the humanity of the people murdered in the course of the conflict. In a communal Us versus Them logic, the dehumanizing gaze that saw Them as a nondifferentiated entity (Israel/the Palestinians), abstracted from the partic- ular human beings that constituted it, is often accompanied by an equally self- dehumanizing, abstracted vision of Us. neither of the warring sides really cares for the actual material human being-ness of the situation. More important things like com- munities and nations are at stake. It is clearly the case that in the Western public sphere the condemnation imperative operates as a mode of censoring the attempts to provide a sociological

explanation for why PSBs act the way they do. It is difficult to express any form of understanding whatsoever, even when one is indeed also condemning the prac- tices of PSBs. Only unqualified condemnation will do. And if one tries to under- stand, any accompanying condemnation is deemed suspicious. There is a clear political risk in trying to explain suicide bombings.1 The most obvious aspect of the PSB phenomenon is that it is a social fact in the Durkheimian sense of the term. It is a social tendency emanating from within colonized Palestinian society and as such has to be explained not as an individual psychological aberration but as the product of specific social conditions. . To my mind, terrorism is clearly a form of political violence. Terrorism is a violence that directly aims at killing and destroying even when it ultimately aims at exerting a form of psychological violence. On the other hand, we need to question the way we are invited to uncritically think of a particular form of violence as the worst possible kind of violence merely by classifying it as terrorist. Mark Twains none of us have been taught to see points to perhaps the most important aspect of the classification terrorist. It involves a form of symbolic violence that forces us to normalize certain forms of violence and to pathologize others. This is an invitation to the social analyst to think of terrorism as part of the struggle between states and opposing groups: first, over the distribution of means of vio- lence and second, and more importantly, over the classification of the forms of violence in the world, particularly over what constitutes legitimate violence. . The fact that we approach suicide bombing with such trepidation, in contrast to how we approach the violence of colonial domination, for example, indicates the symbolic violence that shapes our understanding of what constitutes ethically and politically illegitimate violence. Indeed, the fact that terrorist groups never clas- sify themselves as terrorists, instead calling themselves revolutionaries, martyrs, nationalists, or freedom fighters, is an indication of the depth of this symbolic violence. If we accept a less morally outraged and more empirical conception of terrorism as a form of violence specific to a mode of distribution of the means of violence, there is no necessary contradiction between martyr or freedom fighter and terrorist. his does not make terrorist violence less condemnable for those who want to condemn violence; it does, however, make us question why it is ter- rorist violence that is always at the center of a

condemnation/noncondemnation problematic, and not other relatively more lethal forms of violence. Suicide bombings are seen here as a marriage between the necessity of resistance and the quantitative and qualitative depriva- tion of military hardware. Many consider the imbalance of power- Israeli might and strength versus Palestinian struggles to survive as a sufficient explanation of the suicide bombers actions Violence has no function other than to symbolize the survival of a Pales- tinian will. t is only because of the failure of the political that such a state of nature becomes the cultural norm and violence emerges as a matter-of-fact possibility. That one can come to consider such brutish state of affairs as an analytical norm is a sad indication of how far the situation has moved from the logic of political negotiations and solutions. The PSBs Illusio But it is not clear if the suicidal tendencies of the PSBs are the result of too much communal solidarity in a warring situation that leads to a lessening of the sense of individuality among Palestinian youth. These are the conditions of what Durkheim calls altruistic suicide. This term may partially describe the Palestinian case, but it misses a crucial aspect: the youth culture from which the PSBs emerge, particularly in the Palestinian refugee camps, is not only conducive to solidarity but also highly masculine and competitive. That is, even when struggling in the name of the community Palestinian youth do not lose their sense of individuality. They engage in a form of competition for symbolic capital exhibited in the surreal practice of throwing stones at the colonizers tanks in the streets. There is already a suicidal tendency exhibited in those practices well before they materialize in the form of suicide bombing. But this is not all. Such practices also point to one of the core paradoxes that constitute suicide bombings. The par- ticipant deliberately faces the danger of annihilation and at the same time seeks to accumulate personal status and self-esteem. A traditional conception of suicide as a desire to self-destruct and a disinterest in living a meaningful life is particularly unsuited to explain such a phenomenon. It is somewhat ironic to speak of PSBs and talk about people deliberately depriv[ing] themselves of any opportunity to make something of their lives, since one of the key features of Palestinian society today is precisely the social unavailability of any opportunity to make something of ones life. The impossibility of making a life is one of the most important factors to consider when trying to understand the emergence of the PSBs.

The social world, Pierre Bourdieu argues, gives what is rarest, recognition, consideration, in other words, quite simply, reasons for being. It is capable of giv- ing meaning to life, and to death itself, by consecrating it as the supreme sac- rifice.20 For Bourdieu, society is primarily a mechanism for the generation of meanings for life. It offers opportunities for people to make a life for them- selves, to invest and occupy and thus create their selves. This is what Bourdieu calls illusio: The deep belief in the importance of our life pursuits and thus the deep belief in the importance of our selves.21 It is here that Bourdieu can help us access the social significance of the PSBs. In this sense, we can argue that colonized Palestinian society produces a gen- eralized form of premature social aging, even of social death: a situation where there is a quasi-complete absence of possibilities of a worthy life. What we end up having [in Palestine] is the most unusual situation. The Israelis monopolize everything. They monopolize nuclear weapons, they monopolize tanks, planes, what else. They monopolize the land, they monopolise victimhood Nothing symbolizes social death like this inability to dream a meaningful life. But this generalized state of social death does not in itself directly cause suicide bombers. Indeed such a state can as likely cause the emergence of the classically squashed postcolonial culture of despair, resignation, and alcoholism. The difference in this particular bleak social land- scape is the development of a martyr culture. It seems to me that it is here that the suicide bombing as a meaningful activityas an illusioemerges. But from an anthropological point of view, what is important is that once the first act of suicide bombing occurred, it was immediately followed by a cul- ture of glorification of self-sacrifice, which became further reproduced as more suicide bombings occurred, until this culture of glorification became an entrenched part of Palestinian colonized society. The culture of martyrdom with the high social esteem (symbolic capital) it bestows on the martyrs themselves (the funeral processions, the speeches, the photos filling the streets, and so forth; the relative wealth and the social support their families receive) stands against the background of social death described above. The struggle to accumulate symbolic capital (the chase) defines for Bour- dieu the essence of how we make our lives worthy of living. But here we are faced with a peculiar chase: the accumulation of death as a mode of seeking a meaningful life. There emerges a paradoxical social category: suicidal capital. Exighophobia/Homoiophobia: Social Explanation and the Humanity of the Other

In a war/siege culture the understanding of the other is a luxury that cannot be afforded; on the contrary, the divisions between Us and Them are further emphasized. War emphasizes the otherness of the other and divides the world between friends and enemies and good and evil. This war logic is negated in a social expla nation that draws on an ethics of social determinism. By proposing that the other is fundamentally like us, social determinism suggests that given a similar history and background we might find ourselves in the others place.41 When we explain an act as the product of a particular history and particular social circumstances we give its perpetrators some of their humanity back. Social explanation is driven by an inclusionary rather than an exclusionary ethics, and as such it embodies the negation of the logic of war and becomes itself perceived as a political threat in times of war. Thus emerges the couplet of phobias I refer to in the title of the essay: exighophobia (from the Greek exigho, to explain) and homoiophobia (from the Greek homoio, the same).42 In this homoio-exighophobic culture anyone wishing to know and to inquire about the social conditions that might explain a possible rise in criminal offenses, for example, or about the social background of asylum seekers, is perceived as inherently suspect, a nuisance if not a traitor. Seeing evil in the conditions rather than in the people is what Roy Bhaskar, following Margaret Archer, powerfully refers to as structural sin.45

Hage, G. 2003. Comes a Time we All Enthusiasm: Understanding Palestinian Suicide Bombers in Times of Exighophobia PSB = Palestinian suicide bombers Talking Suicide Bombers in the West, a polemic - Israeli reinvasion of the West Bank in 2002 - Destruction of sovereignty and Palestinian society - Israeli government shared with the suicide bombers a lack of concern for the people murdered in the course of the conflict - Us vs. Them dehumanizing gaze - Bombs showed the Israeli Us to be vulnerable which is also what the suicide bombers were trying to demonstrate - Apparently it is crucial to absolutely condemn suicide bombers if you are going to talk about them, otherwise you become a morally suspicious person - The fact that suicide bombing was shaped as a moral issue raised questions about

the assumptions implicit in our categorization of violence and about their significance in shaping our political and analytical judgement Also raised questions of the political significance of the condemnation imperative and its significance for the wider academic process in the social science In the Western public sphere condemnation acts as a mode of censoring and providing a sociological explanation for why PSBs act the way they do Although the idea of understanding suicide bombers is met with disregard therefore difficult to express any form of understanding Political risk in trying to explain suicide bombing Hage thinks that a university setting is one where people can make a case for understanding as opposed to condemning Questions how an academic may seek to understanding suicide bombings Can one talk about suicide bombings leaving condemnation behind or is this seen as a form of justification?

Talking Suicide Bombers in the West, a Lecture - Definition: Palestinian suicide bombings are acts of violence directed against Jewish colonizers of Palestine and their descendents in Israel and the occupied territories, who are seen as continuing the colonial enterprise - Resistance of colonization has always been violent on the part of the colonizer - PSBs particular condemned because the violence is largely towards civilians - They disrupt the ability of colonizers to consolidate a normal peaceful life inside the colonial settler state of Israel - Considered socially pathological as it involves self-sacrifice - PSB is a social fact in the Durkiemian sense of the term i.e. a social tendency emanating from within colonized Palestinian society and as such has to be explained not as an individual psychological aberration but as the product of specific social conditions - We need to differentiate between the presence of a social disposition towards

sacrificing the self and practices of sacrificing the self Advocating the usefulness of a anthropology of PSB However, anthropologists are unlikely to have access to the link of information necessary for an anthropology of PSB What is meant by terrorism has never been clear Authors havent made it clear whether they are undertaking an analysis of terrorism or terrorist organizations Hage thinks that terrorism is clearly a form of political violence whereas terrorist organisations are groups for whom terrorism is a core political practice Terrorists and their intellectual sympathizers claims that the state (whether colonial or otherwise) is a terrorist organization and is also analytically unhelpful Hage makes two clarifying remarks (1) the states use of terrorism does not make it a terrorist organization. Terrorist groups rely solely or mostly on violence for their political actions. States may use terrorism to help them maintain power but unlikely to be their only source (2) Some go as far as describing any coercive part of the state as terrorism. Should be made clear that although the coercive parts of the capitalist state is by no means unimportant and in some cases may be classed as terrorism, it is incoherent to equate any coerciveness with terrorism Terrorism is not the worst kind of violence humans are capable of accepting? Suggests that PSBs kill a lot less people than other forms of violence The fact that we approach suicide bombings in such a way compared to how we approach the violence of colonial domination indicates the symbolic violence that shapes our understanding of what constitutes ethically and politically legitimate violence The fact that terrorist groups refer to themselves as national revolutionaries, freedom fighters etc. is a representation of the symbolic violence We should question why terrorism is always at the centre of condemnation/noncondemnation

problematic and not other relatively lethal forms of violence The Israeli/Palestine conflict is often seen in terms of the strong Israeli side and the weak Palestinians The suicide bombers become a sign that the Palestinians have not been broken, they are a sign of life. Shows the capacity to hurt a great number of the people that hurt you. This violence has no function other than to symbolise the survival of Palestinian will

Some parts missed End of the Seminar: Are Suicide Bombers Human Beings Like Us? - Seems to be that what is at stake in our social explanations of suicide bombers is a claim as to whether or not they are human beings - The proposal of a social explanation for suicide bombings, regardless of whether they are saying it is satisfactory or not, it is suggesting it is part of humanity - Claiming they are not as weird as you think Exighophobia/Homoiophobia: Social Explanation and the Humanity of the Other - Clear that the zero tolerance towards crime and zero tolerance towards the social explanation of crime are grounded in uncertainties created by globalization - Increasing idea of societys shrinking ability to provide a good life for everyone - War divides good and evil and gives it a social explanation - By suggesting that the other is fundamentally like us suggests that in other historical circumstances we may find ourselves in the same position as the others - Social explanation driven by inclusive rather than exclusive politics - Social explanation therefore doesnt occupy a politically neutral position - Suicide bombings are a certain evil but an evil that resides from certain social conditions of life where the possibilities of a meaningful life are shrinking rather than individuals trying to survive in such conditions - Seeing evil in the conditions rather than the people has been called structural sin (Bhaskar, Archer) Browning, C. 1992. Ordinary Men: Reverse Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. Chapter 7 - Initiation to Mass Murder: The Jozefow Massacre Police Battalion 101 had the task of rounding up 1,800 jews in Jozefow Only the men were to be sent to camps. The women, children and elderly were to be shot

The PSBs Illusio - Possible from what has been examined so far to form an understanding of how some Palestinians develop a brutish, dehumanized, abstract conception of Israeli human beings - What is more difficult to understand is the suicide component of PSBs. Why have people turned to martyrdom? - Durkheims categories of egoistic and altruistic suicide note that PSBs do not conform to either but have similarities with altruistic suicide - Altruistic suicide partly describes the PSB case but ignores the important aspect of the youth culture from which the PSB arises conducive to solidarity but also highly masculine and competitive. Even when struggling in the name of the community, Palestinian youths do not lose their individuality - The participant deliberately faces danger and at the same time seeks to accumulate personal status and self-esteem - Most PSBs come from refugee camps. The impossibility of making a life is an important aspect to remember when trying to understand the emergence of PSBs and is also a key factor in explaining the paradox referred to above a self aiming to abolish itself while also seek self-esteem - Bourdieu suggests that society is the primary generator of a meaning for life and death. He calls this illusion i.e. the deep belief in the importance of our life pursuits and therefore the deep belief in the importance of our selves - Bourdieu says society is characterised by a deep inequality in the distribution of meaningfulness

Major Trapp did not attend the shootings as it distressed him too much While Trapp complained about his orders, the other men proceeded to carry out the task Noted that most of the men involved avoided shooting children and infants The men continuously shot people throughout the day When Trapp first told the men that nature of the task it is said that the time for thought was very short. Only a dozen men chose to turn their riffles in and not take part in the shooting. For many, the reality had not sunk in. But later in the day some tried to backtrack out of the task Some sought other ways to avoid the task e.g. hiding or jumping onto a truck going to collect Jews from another village so as to be absent for a while In contrast to the first company, the second company received no instruction to shoot By far the largest number of shooters interrogated after came from the third platoon of the second company Most of the men who found it impossible to shoot quit early, but not all When the men returned they drank heavily and most were so distressed that they didnt want to talk about what had happened Several days after Jozefow, the battalion narrowly missed participating in another massacre

sophisti- cated radar systems prevented any other method of attack. These student pilots-to-be were the intellectual crme de la crme of the time Above all, the diary was the means through which they struggled to understand the mminent death they faced. I have chosen to profile stu- dent soldiers for several reasons. First, the majority of the officers who died as tokkotai pilots were student soldiers. Second, many of these student soldiers were liberals or even radicals, and were thus most unlikely individuals to volunteer as tokkotai pilots. In terms of the intensity of impact on their thinking, the most important were: (1) post-Kantian transcendental ide- alism, inspired by Kants First critique Fichte, Schelling and Hegel; (2) German romantic idealism, influenced by Kants Second and Third critiques Schiller and Goethe; (3) the German Romantiker proper Novalis, Hlderlin, Friedrich Schlegel; (4) Marxism, both German and Russian. Japans intense intellectual engagement with the West was heavily mediated by a long history of influence from Chinese intellectual traditions. Confucianism, introduced during the sixth century, and revived in the 1880s, formed a powerful basis for ideas of loyalty and sacrifice, thus preparing Japan to become a modern military nation for which individual sacrifice was essential. NeoConfucianism, especially the Wang Yang-Ming (Oyomei) ideology, introduced during the 17th century, emphasized the individual and selfcultivation, paving the way for the Japanese embrace of Kantian individualism (Bito 1993 [1996]), or the Bildung of Thomas Mann. As they began to have a realization of the fate they chose,6 their readings turned to questions more directly related to their imminent death. They read classics extensively, in part because many espoused cosmopolitanism, as advocated by the Cynics and the Stoics. P In their quest to discover what it meant to be a member of a society, they read Socrates as well as Thomas Mann, Roman Rolland and Roger Martin du Gard. Burning with idealism, they debated whether patriotism should be understood as the sacrifice of the self for a greater cause. Marxism was also influential. During their idealistic stage, they found in Marxism a remedy for the corruption of capitalism and selfishness, which they

Ohnuki-Tierney, E. 2004 Betrayal by Idealism and Aesthetics: Special Attack Force (Kamikaze) Pilots and their Intellectual Trajectories (Part 1) Here I look at the background of the Japanese pilots and their intellectual trajectories, with the ultimate question of how these highly intelligent graduates of the top Higher Schools and universities, with their cosmopolitan education, came to reproduce Japans military ideology in action, but not in thought.3 Onishi and his colleagues believed that the Japanese soul, which had been built up to possess a unique strength to face death without hesitation, was the only means remaining to the Japanese to bring about a miracle, at a time when the homeland was surrounded by American aircraft carriers whose

felt were gnawing at the very core of Japan. They found meaning in destroying Japan itself as well as the United Kingdom and the United States all of which, they felt, had been cor- rupted by materialism and advanced capitalism in order to usher in a new Japan that would, like a phoenix, rise from the ashes of the old. They sought a rationale for their predicament in Marxism and other types of historical determinism a grand historical flow was sweeping them away to their death. In addition Leninism, with its warning against Western colonialism, was at that time appealing to Asian peoples in general in their fight against Western colonial powers. Hayashi Tadao read Lenins State and Revolution and afterwards tore each page to pieces and threw them into the lavatory for fear of confiscation. Recruitment of student soldiers as tokkotai pilots These university students were drafted after the Tojo gov- ernment had twice reduced the duration of the university course. Once on the base, many were subjected to the bru- tality of corporal punishment on a daily basis. Even those who had earlier felt patriotic found that life on the base extinguished any enthusiasm for fighting, or for anything at all. But they had already reached the point of no return. Yet by the time they were drafted into the military, Japans defeat was imminent. T Sometimes the opposite was demanded that they step forward if they did not want to volunteer. It is not hard to imagine how difficult it would have been to stay behind or step forward when all or many of their comrades were volunteering. Even if they did not volunteer, they might be killed on the base or sent to the battlefield where death was guaranteed. Cherry blossom and the nature of patriotism At some point these young men became patriotic, but what was their patria? Was it their homeland, Japan and if so, was it Japan as it was or a utopian Japan? Was it the emperor for whom they sacrificed their lives? Or was it their family, lovers, friends? These young mens diaries make it clear that none of them truly died for the emperor. Some defied outright the emperor-centred ideology. Others tried to accept it without success, as these remarks by Hayashi Ichizo suggest:
There must be some peace of mind for dedicating my life to the emperor To be honest, I cannot say that the wish to die for the emperor is genuine, coming from my

heart. However, it is decided for me that I die for the emperor. [emphasis added]

In other words, having no choice but to try to dive onto American aircraft carriers, they reproduced in action the emperor-centred ideology while not embracing it, and sometimes even while defying it. The key to understanding how these highly intelligent young men succumbed, at least partly at some point in their life, to military ideology is their misrecognition of the aesthetics strategically deployed by the government. Like many other totalitarian regimes, including those of Hitler, Mussolini, Mao and Stalin, the Japanese military govern- ment worked extensively and intensively to aestheticize its military actions. For this purpose, it used cherry blossom as the central symbol. Cherry blossom has long been loved and enjoyed by most Japanese rural, urban, and from all walks of life. The flower also offers a medium for inner reflection. Individuals meditate upon life and death, love and other important matters in their lives while composing poems about cherry blossom an integral part of the ritual of cherry blossom viewing, especially in pre-war Japan. The field of meaning of the flower is indeed rich and complex. At the level of the individual, it represents processes of life, death and rebirth, and relationships between men and women as well as production and repro- duction. At a more abstract level, it represents subversion of the norm the anti-self. People lose their mind under a cherry tree in full bloom; the ritual of viewing is often accompanied by changes of social identity, including a masquerade. At the collective level, each social group in the mosaic of Japanese society has its own tradition of cherry blossom viewing. Japanese sought to establish a distinctive iden- tity. They chose cherry blossoms in opposition to the Chinese plum blossoms. E Cherry blossom had thus long been intensely involved in conceptions and rep- resentations of the Japanese self, at both the individual and the collective levels. The aesthetics of cherry blossom was deployed in numerous ways, but especially as a symbol of soldiers sacrifice for the emperor qua Japan. The

symbol of cherry blossom came to represent the Japanese soul (yamato damashii) an exclusive spir- itual property of the Japanese that endowed young men with a noble character, enabling them to face death without fear Thou shalt die like beautiful falling cherry petals for the emperor. Cherry trees, representing the Japanese soul, were planted all over Japans colonies during its imperial expansion in order to transform the colonized space into a Japanese space and the colonized into Japanese. Originally cherry trees were planted at the Yasukuni National Shrine so that the beautiful blossoms would console the souls of fallen soldiers. As the process of militarization accelerated, the metaphor was extended so that falling cherry petals came to represent soldiers who sacrificed their lives and cherry blossom became their metamorphosed souls. The mobilization of the aesthetics of the flower reached its height with the tokkotai operations. A single cherry blossom was painted in pink on a white background on both sides of the tokkotai plane, while various Japanese terms for cherry blossom were used for the names of the corps. Cherry blossom was in full bloom in southern Kyushu in April 1945, and some pilots flew off with branches of blossom attached to their helmets and uni- forms, while female high-school students waved blos- soming cherry branches, bidding farewell to pilots taking off on their death missions. Mconnaissance The diaries tell us that most pilots neither embraced the emperor-centred ideology nor subscribed to the militarized meanings of cherry blossom. On the other hand, they did not directly confront the militarized cherry blossom. In fact, they did not even notice this fundamental transformation. To understand this phenomenon, I suggest that the con- cept of mconnaissance misrecognition or absence of communication, whereby parties in a given context fail to realize that they are talking past each other, deriving dif- ferent signification from the same symbols and rituals may be useful. I use this concept in its most basic sense the phenomenon of talking past each other. It enables us to understand how people come to replicate the state ideology in action but not in thought, because they assign different meanings to the symbols used by the state.

Symbolic mconnaissance is usually facilitated by sev- eral factors. First, each symbol has a vast field of mean- ings, anyone of which may be drawn on by the actor, resulting in the possibility of multiple significations coex- isting in a given context of communication. Second, it is further facilitated by the fact that meanings of a symbol are embedded in processes and relationships life predicated by death, women in relation to men, and so forth all sym- bolized in this case by cherry blossom, just as the rose in some Western cultures represents love, that is, a relation- ship. Therefore, when a social agent moves the significa- tion of a symbol across the field of meanings, for example the meaning of cherry blossom from life to death, the pro- found shift is seldom recognized. rom cultural to political nationalism Nature as a symbol of cultural nationalism can move easily into the realm of political nationalism. W In political nationalisms, an unadulterated Volk or Urvolk is often symbolized by an unadulterated nature. The combination of nature and nationalism, a seemingly innocent pairing, can turn lethal if it becomes part of the machinery of political nationalism. To reiterate, an aesthetics is assigned to the symbols that stand for the most cherished values of the people their land, their history, idealism, and the moral codes of purity and sacrifice. People respond to this aesthetics, inter- preting it in terms of their own idealism and aesthetics, while the state can use the same aesthetics and symbols to co-opt them. Writing on Nazi Germany, Mosse argues that the aes- thetics of politics was the force which linked myths, sym- bols, and the feeling of the masses (1975: 20). My interest is in the capacity of sublimity to move a symbol across a wide terrain, from innocent cultural space to dangerous political space. It is a general question of the role of symbols and their sublimity when an everyday symbol is transformed into a political symbol whose function is to serve a state ideology. Nature, when used as a political symbol of our space, becomes dan- gerous: its idealized beauty disarms people, because they interpret nature in terms of old and familiar associations, while the state constructs the meaning of nature in terms of its ideology. It is all too easy for nature

and nationalism to form dangerous liaisons. Aesthetics assigned to political symbols, such as cherry blossom, facilitates this process of mconnaissance, disarming those in communication who then do not suspect state manipulations which they would otherwise perceive. Mconnaissance prevented the pilots and others from recognizing the discrepancy between what they perceived and what the state intended. In the final analysis, their patriotism and the state ide- ology were imbricated in action, while there remained a gulf in thought between the two. It was their quest for aesthetics, their romanticism and idealism, that drove them to the point of no return. They developed their Weltanschauung and their aesthetics from their reading. The young men would have been able to resist the political nationalism orches- trated by the state if it had been presented to them blatantly. But when it was mediated by the lofty intellectual traditions of the West, they failed to recognize the transformations of aesthetics wrought by the pro-military political and intellectual leaders Conclusion They were not fully cognizant of the basic change of the meaning of the cherry blossom. We must be aware of naturalization and aestheticization processes, and, above all, mconnaissance highly dangerous cultural and historical processes whereby forces of manipulation are hardly recognized as such. My hope is that gaining some insight into these students reflections on their impending death will contribute toward an understanding of the vulner- ability of each one of us to historical forces that lead to human tragedies on a colossal scale. But reducing these young men to a stereotype opens the way further to hatred and wars against other social groups. We must examine various types of patriotic actions and identify historical forces, the role of aesthetics, and the enormously complex phenomenon of agency. Ohnuki-Tierney, E. 2004. Betrayal by Idealism and Aesthetics: Special Attack Force (Kamikaze) Pilots and their Intellectual Trajectories (Part 1) Examining popular and media images of suicide bombers In light of 9/11 looks at Japanese World War II Kamikaze Pilots

This image intensified after 9/11 It was framed using the story of bombing of Pearl Harbour Kamikazi bombers (although only brought in at the end of the war) have been used as an image with which to portray suicide bombers in the Middle East and elsewhere

Cosmopolitan intellectual students as tokkotai pilots - Japenese pilots, top type - Diaries through which they tried to understand their imminent death - Very intellectual students who drew upon philosophy and social theory - Japans intense intellectual engagement with the west - Confucianism (1880s) introduced a powerful basis for the ideas of loyalty and sacrifice thus preparing Japan to be a military nation where sacrifice was essential - These students deeply interested in ideas of individual freedom and societal restrictions - Quest to understand what it meant to be a member of society and read more philosophy widely e.g. Socrates, Marx etc. - Saw Marxism as a remedy for corruption of capitalism and selfishness Recruitment of student soldiers as tokkotai pilots - Drafted after the government had twice reduced the during of university - Subjected to great corporal punishment on the base - Asked to volunteer to be a pilot, soldiers drafted in the name of patriotism Cherry Blossom and the Nature of patriotism - At some point these men became patriotic, but why? - Was their homeland Japan and if so was it Japan or utopian Japan? - Did they sacrifice themselves for the emperor or their family? - None of them seemed to die for the emperor - They were forced to sacrifice so created a emperor ideology but also resisted it - The key to understanding why these men succumbed to the military ideology is

their misrecognition of the aesthetics strategically deployed by the government Cherry blossom as a central symbol Cheery blossom has been long loved by the Japanese, pilgrimages to view them, flower as a medium for inner reflection, rich and complex meaning of the flower. Represents a process of life and death and on a more abstract level, represents subversion of the norm, an anti-self, they lose their mind under the cherry blossom Governments have aestheticised their military operations and death of soldiers under the symbolism of the cherry blossom, trope of Japans nationalism Symbol of soldiers sacrifice Militarisation of the mass consciousness through the use of the cherry blossom intensified in the 1920s and 1930s after the military seized power Penetration of the minds of the people through songs, school textbooks, media, films, plays etc. Cherry trees represented Japans soul planted all over the colonies during expansion

Conclusion - Most pilots did not die for the emperor not did they believe in the military ideology - They were not fully aware of the change in meaning of the cherry blossom - Must recognise our own fragility which leads us to unwittingly participate in totalitarian operations - When we examine patriotic acts we must examine the historical forces and role that aesthetics play

Kelly, T. 2008. The Attractions of Accountancy: Living an Ordinary Life During the Second Palestinian Intifada.

However, rather than focus on why people like Mudar become armed militants, I ask why people such as Khalil want to study accountancy. In doing so, I explore the meanings and implications of the ordinary and mundane in the midst of armed conflict. The second intifada has been marked by boredom and frustration. However, in the recent growth of the ethnography of armed conflict, there has often been a danger of over-determining violence, ignoring the mundane nature of most political conflicts. In order to understand how people live through violence, an examination of the ordinary is just as important as the apparently extraordinary or exceptional. In the midst of the second intifada, most Palestinians tried to live what passed for ordinary lives. In contrast, this article provides an ethnographic exploration of the ways in which a sense of the ordinary is understood, experienced and grappled with by West Bank Palestinians on a daily basis. Crucially, the ordinary does not exist in opposition to violence, but is deeply implicated within it (see Das, 2007). Participating in everyday activities in the face of a military occupation threatens to collapse

Meconnaissance - Diaries tell us that pilots neither embrace emperor or embraced the cherry ideology - But they did not directly confront the militarized cherry blossom and did not notice the fundamental transition - Misrecognition (absence of communication) - Replication of state ideology in action, not in thought because the assign different meanings to the symbols used by the state - Aestheticized nature of the homeland From Cultural to Political Nationalism - Nature as a symbol of cultural nationalism can move easily into political nationalism - Aesthetic assigned to the symbols that are most cherished in people their land, their history, idealism, moral codes etc. People respond to these aesthetics interpreting it in their own terms of their own idealism and aesthetics while the state use the same aesthetics and symbols to co-opt them

the distinction between the ordinary and extraordi- nary (Abrahams, 1986; see Shokeid, 1992, Taussig, 1984). The unexpected is therefore never entirely a surprise and the expected is always partly surprising. The ordinary therefore is not merely a relative category to be cynically manipulated, but rather is shot through with a residual hope that it still may be possible, and a fear that it might not. Violence and the mundane Alongside the ever rising death toll, the second intifada also saw the almost complete collapse of the Palestinian economy, as work in Israel was almost brought to an end, severe restrictions on movement were created by the widespread presence of Israeli checkpoints and patrols, and the PNA exchequer faced a huge financial shortfall. The outbreak of the intifada has been linked to economic deprivation, frustrations with a moribund Peace Process, the often repressive actions of the Israeli military, and the contradictory decisions of the weakened Palestinian leadership, among other things. Yet, in focusing on why people turned to violence, such approaches have ignored the fact that the vast majority of Palestinians have had no direct participation in the armed conflict. Violent political conflicts, and the second intifada is no exception, are not an all out barrage of total war, but particular mixtures of boredom and fear, violence and the mundane, that change over time and space. Furthermore, and equally importantly, there is also a very real danger of pathologizing whole populations by only understanding them through the lens of violence. Instead, it is to argue that non-violence is often as problem- atic as violence, and should not be seen as a default state that exists in the absence of conflict. Both the presence and the absence of violence are created by wider conditions of possibility that structure the choices and paths available. As such, it is just as important here not to over-determine the seemingly nonviolent, as it is the violent. What is needed

therefore is the bringing of the violent and the mundane together in a structural account of the relationship between the two. Only by doing so can we begin to understand how the spaces of non-participation relate to those of participation (Spencer, 2000). Political participation Voting, or even verbal support, does not represent emotional or even ideological commitment. Living an ordinary life Instead of direct political participation, most Palestinians were concerned with attempts to live what passed for ordinary lives. One of the recurring conversational themes of the second intifada was the importance of not letting the Israeli occupation and Israeli soldiers prevent you from doing so. This meant, amongst other things, that people would go to extreme lengths in order to get to work, school or university. would not allow people to walk along the road, but would instead force them to leave the road 20 or so metres before the checkpoint, weave through the olive groves, and rejoin the road once they were a few metres on the other side. Khalils attitude in respect to the checkpoint was typical. His argument was that by stopping at home, by refusing to go through a checkpoint, by letting your life be disrupted, you were doing the work of the Israeli army for them. Such attempts to live a seemingly ordinary life stand in stark contrast to the first intifada. In an insightful article, Iris Jean-Klein argues that during the first intifada, many West Bank Palestinians self-consciously attempted to suspend everyday life (2001). In this process, activities that were under- stood to be ordinary or everyday were frozen as part of the recognition that Israeli occupation was itself abnormal. Weddings, religious feasts and other lifecycle commemorations were downscaled, in order to articulate a selfconscious nationalist refusal to accept the current status quo.

To begin with this meant that shops, offices and banks often gave the appearance of being closed, with their shutters drawn. Yet, a quick knock would see the door open, and the customer could enter a shop or office full of people. To an outsider it would look as if everything was closed down, but behind the doors everything was going on normally. The point was to give the outward appearance of a strike but enable everyone to go about making their living. Kinship, masculinity and the desire for an ordinary life A sense of being adi (ordinary) was largely focused around lifecycle processes related to marriage and parenthood. The dominant aspiration for many men in the village where I conducted fieldwork was to work in order to fulfil their kinship obligations and eventually provide for their own families, and it was largely around these goals that other decisions were organized. Mudar held similar aspir- ations to Khalil, but in contrast had no relatives who could pay his university fees. He had an elderly widower father who was too old to work and no brothers to support him through university, and as a result joined the mukhbart (secret police) as a way of paying his way through university. For Mudar, his path to an ordinary life took him through the PNA security services. The felt need to support kin led people to make seemingly extraordinary choices. I The literature on gender in the Arab Middle East has often focused on the ways in which masculinity is reproduced through performances of autonomous strength and violence (see, for example, Gilsenen, 1996). In particular, Julie Peteet has described how, during the first intifada, Palestinian men created new forms of masculinity through their participation in active resistance against the Israeli occupation, often demon- strated through showing wounds and bruises inflicted by Israeli soldiers (Peteet, 1994). In contrast, during the second intifada

Death was talked about in terms of suffering, rather than simply as a courageous act of resistance. Rather than being produced through participation in violence, for many West Bank Palestinians, masculinity was steeped in the more practical responsibilities of kinship, and the sacrifices of paternity and brotherhood (Jean-Klein, 2000; Joseph, 1994). More generally, the mass unemployment created by the economic collapse of the second intifada severely challenged attempts to fulfil mascu- line responsibilities (Kelly, 2006a). better than sitting at home like a woman. Attempts to lead what passed for ordinary lives were therefore inherently gendered, and providing food and support for families was seen as the central value in being a good Palestinian man.4 There remained, however, a crucial ambiguity to the desire to live an ordinary life, as sumd (steadfastness) in the face of the occupation could easily seem to slip from the active to the passive. Was walking around a checkpoint, an act that could certainly be very dangerous, form of resist- ance or was it simply acquiescence to the status quo dressed up as a form of nationalist activity? The large-scale strikes, for example, only crippled the Palestinian economy, and did little to harm the Israeli occupation. From this perspective the Palestinian national movement is only viable so long as it can feed and support its children. As such, the contrast between selfpreserving passivity and nationalist activism is probably overdrawn. Khalils determination to become an accountant and build his own flat was as much a political act as it was driven by a desire to financially support his family, no longer share a house with his siblings, and to gain what he felt would be professional status. In this process sumd (steadfastness) combines both personal and national hopes. The ordinary, between norm and description

The key question here, of course, is what counts as ordinary? Among West Bank Palestinians the implications of the ordinary are constantly reflected upon and its meanings always shifting. During the first intifada there had been a selfconscious refusal to accept the Israeli occupation as the ordinary state of affairs. However, by the second intifada, the vast majority of people in the West Bank had only ever known the Israeli occupation. They shouted that the Israeli Air Force was just about to bomb again. Nonchalantly, the driver turned around and took another route. He shrugged, replying that this was adi (normal) and heek al- dunya f filistn (such is the life in Palestine). As well as being inherently historical, any notion of the ordinary is also related to particular structures of social and economic opportunity. The ordinary can of course be very mundane. Khalil would constantly complain that life was mumilla (boring) and that he had nothing exciting to do. His complaint was common. Rather than making life more exciting, the intifada only increased their boredom. Many of them were unemployed and spent all day at home, or walking around the village. This sense that the second intifada was boring was also inherently temporal (see Svendson, 2005), as for many people, initially at least, the intifada was seen as a temporary state of affairs. Ironically, boredom was caused in large measure by fear, and a fear of the Israeli military in particular. We should not assume that the mundane is somehow benign, as it can be saturated with anxieties of its own. The ordinary, however, is not simply a constantly shifting and relational category that in effect normalizes the experience of violence. It is also an aspiration, a desire for a different kind of life. For Khalil it was difficult to say what ordinary life in Palestine had ever been like. There was

no historical point of stability which he could refer back to. Yet, Khalil still held onto a sense of the ordinary as some- thing to be hoped for. When I asked Khalil where he would like to live of all places in the world, he told me Sweden. He said that he had an uncle who lived there, and he had heard that life was very good in Scandinavia. Above all, he told me, his uncle had said that nothing ever happens in Sweden. In this sense, ordinariness represented a hope to live in an ordinary state, where life was benevolently mundane. As such, the search for the ordinary is also implicitly a critique of the status quo, a sense that things could and should be otherwise. There was an ethical charge to the desire for the banal.
Death has become normal, and bleeding has become normal too. Fear and despair are normal. The checkpoints are closed? Its normal, well go round the back, what do we care . . . My brother had a bullet in his behind? Normal . . .

The character then interrupts her flow, asking the audience rhetorically whether such things are, or should be, ordinary, irrespective of whether they are an aspect of everyday experience. What is and what is not ordinary and normal here is therefore deeply ambiguous. There is a sense that this striving for the ordinary in the face of the recognized abnormality of everyday life, is in itself abnormal, creating a critical reflection on the possibility and the meaning of the ordinary and normality. As Iris Jean-Klein notes in the context of the first intifada, the ordinary itself becomes a political category (2001). There are therefore two senses to the ordinary, which exist in tension (Canguilhem, 1991). The first is an empirical sense of the everyday and mundane. The second is a normative sense of what should be. As such, the ordinary hangs uneasily between a description and an evaluation, the typical and the ideal, moving constantly between the is and the ought. . In the West Bank, this distinction is collapsed. The unexpected is never entirely a surprise, and the expected is always partly surprising. The unpredictability of the very things that in another context might be taken for granted as

the background against which unpredictable events occur (Schutz, 1973) creates a constant speculation on the nature of ordinary life. To paraphrase Stanley Cavell, the ordinary is distinctively uncanny (1994). Pacified spaces The seemingly mundane activities involved in the search for the ordinary were ethnographically glossed by many Palestinians as muqwama (resistance), or a form of sumd (steadfastness) in the face of the Israeli occupation. However, it is important not to see such activities as a straightforward neutral choice, but rather as a product of what might be called pacified spaces (Elias, 2000).6 As Norbert Elias reminded us long ago, the apparent presence of civil forms of behaviour cannot be divorced from the presence or possibility of violence elsewhere. For West Bank Palestinians, their seeming passivity, and the apparent mundane ordinariness of their lives, has to be understood in the context of three related processes: the overwhelming force of the Israeli military, dependency on the Israeli economy, and the concentration of the Palestinian means of violence. In a context where the force of the Israeli military was overwhelming and dependency on the Israeli economy so great, people were left with very little choice but to try and get by. The fear of opposing the Israeli occupation has it roots not just in the military tactics of the Israeli Defence Force, but also its social and economic policies. Since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, the Israeli military had followed a deliberate policy of making West Bank Palestinians depen- dent on the Israeli economy. This policy was designed, in the words of the first Israeli commander in the West Bank Shlomo Gazit, to give them something to lose should Palestinians decide to protest against the Israeli occupation (1995: 169). It was against the background of this dependency that had been created on the Israeli economy that people grappled with whether to

walk around checkpoints, study for accountancy degrees, or even work in Israeli settlements. At the same time, the professionalization of the Palestinian national movement, produced by the creation of the PNA, resulted in the relative concentration of Palestinian violence. The result was a sharpening of the division between those who directly participated in violence and those who did not, between those who became armed militants and those who became accountants. Whilst the first intifada had been a selfconscious mass movement, where it was seen as the responsibility of all Palestinians to resist the Israeli occupation, the second intifada saw the creation of smaller more elite groups who claimed to act in the name of the Palestinian people.7 The resort to violence was no longer dispersed across the Palestinian population but was focused in a small group of Palestinian violence specialists, who had guns. Ultimately there are as many reasons why people would try and live seemingly mundane lives as for why they might turn to violence, and these are shaped, in large measure, by class and kinship connections (Allen, 2002). Crucially, the decision to become an accountant or an armed militant is not a once and for all decision, but is often the product of small incremental choices, taken in the context of wider structural constraints, none of which on their own lead to participation or non-participation (see Arendt, 1998). Mudar did not choose to become an armed militant, but rather became one by force of circumstance. Although a list of the reasons why people take particular paths is a largely thankless and meaningless task, it is possible to produce an account to the structural conditions which make certain choices possible. These are the conditions that make violence and non-violence an option for both indi- viduals such as Khalil and Mudar, and for the wider Palestinian political leadership. The result is a political life that is sharply divided between a desire to live an ordinary life

and armed activism. Thinking about accountants and shampoo salesmen Rather than simply focus on violence, this article has examined the meanings and implications of the seemingly mundane, boring and the ordinary in the midst of political conflict. Much of the recent ethnography of armed conflict has maintained a narrow focus on the extraordinary, ignoring the fact that even in the midst of the most brutal conflicts, the vast majority of people do not actively participate in armed activities, but rather attempt to live what passes for ordinary lives. Many people strive equally hard and against equally long odds to become accountants, engineers, shopkeepers and housewives, as they do armed militants. This is not to say that understanding why people turn to violence is not important. Indeed, it is just as crucial not do over-determine nonviolence as it is violence. What we need then is a structural account of the relation- ship between violence and the ordinary, that allows us to explore the wider circumstances which allow space for nonparticipation in armed conflict (Spencer, 2000: 120). Veena Das argues that attempts to recover a sense of the everyday are a central part of the process by which people live through and beyond violence (2007). It is not the transcendent that allows people to live amidst devastation, but the banal. For the West Bank Palestinians that I describe, the descent into the ordinary (Das, 2007) was based, first and foremost, in a practical engagement with the obligations of kinship, and the desire to produce and provide for their families in particu- lar. The ordinary was therefore not simply a relational or relative category, but described an inherently ethical attempt to inhabit the world. It was shot through with hopes and anxieties as people sought to fulfil social relation- ships at the most intimate level. particular content of any notion of the ordinary

is of course historically specific and has to be placed in a wider context, where access to economic and political resources is unequally distributed.