Surviving Forced Disappearance in Argentina and Uruguay Identity and Meaning

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-08-13
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Due in large part to humanitarian law and transitional justice, the categories of detained-disappeared and forced disappearance are today well established - so much so that in some places like Argentina and Uruguay an intense social life has taken shape and become crystallized around them and in their wake. In the complex and dense social worlds that result, victims mix with institutions, laws, and professionals (forensic anthropologists, social scientists, jurists, psychologists, artists, archivists, writers, and so on), occupying intersecting positions and doing so with varied narratives, from the heroic to the tragic, the epic to the paradoxical. Based on extensive fieldwork in Argentina and Uruguay, this book examines and analyzes these worlds. It is aimed at those who are interested in understanding how one inhabits the categories that international law has constructed to mark, judge, think about, and repair horror.

Author Biography

Gabriel Gatti is Professor of Sociology at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. His research and teaching focus on contemporary forms of identity, in particular those constituted in situations of social catastrophe, rupture, and fracture. He is the author of Identidades débiles, Identidades desaparecidas, Les nouveaux répères de l'identité collective en Europe, and Basque society.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Sociology from the Gut
1. A Catastrophe for Identity and Meaning. Forced Disappearance, Modernity, and Civilization
2. Activists of Meaning. Bringing Order to Ruins, Remaking Bodies, Undoing Traumas...
3. Moral Techniques. Recovering Disappeared Identities through Forensic Anthropology
4. The Meaning-Preserving Machinery of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo
5. Art and Science Struggling with the Absence of Meaning
6. Noisy Silences. The Testimonial Work of the Former Detained-Disappeared
7. Serious Parodies. 'Children of' Inhabiting (More or Less Joyfully) the Absence
8. Transnationalization of the Detained-Disappeared, Social Creativity, and Other Unintended Consequences of Forced Disappearance

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