9780253218841

Zenana : Everyday Peace in a Karachi Apartment Building

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780253218841

  • ISBN10:

    0253218845

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-12-01
  • Publisher: INGRAM

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Summary

Ethnic violence is a widespread concern, but we know very little about the micro-mechanics of coexistence in the neighbourhoods around the world where inter-group peace is maintained amidst civic strife. In this ethnographic study of a multi-ethnic, middle-class high-rise apartment building in Karachi, Pakistan, Laura A. Ring argues that peace is the product of a relentless daily labour, much of it carried out in the zenana, or women's space. Everyday rhythms of life in the building are shaped by gender, ethnic and rural/urban tensions, national culture, and competing interpretations of Islam. Women's exchanges between households-visiting, borrowing, helping-and management of male anger are forms of creative labour that regulate and make sense of ethnic differences. Linking psychological senses of "tension" with anthropological views of the social significance of exchange, Ring argues that social-cultural tension is not so much resolved as borne and sustained by women's practices. Framed by a vivid and highly personal narrative of the author's interactions with her neighbours, her Pakistani in-laws, and other residents of the city, Zenana provides a rare glimpse into contemporary urban life in a Muslim society.Laura A. Ring received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.

Author Biography

Laura A. Ring holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Note to the Reader ix
Introduction: The Zenana Revisited
1(39)
A Day in the Life
40(20)
Tension
60(43)
Anger
103(34)
Intimacy
137(33)
Conclusion: Emotion and the Political Actor
170(13)
Glossary 183(2)
Notes 185(8)
Bibliography 193(10)
Index 203

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