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The Funeral Casino : Meditation, Massacre, and Exchange with the Dead in Thailand - Alan Klima

The Funeral Casino

Meditation, Massacre, and Exchange with the Dead in Thailand

Paperback

Published: 1st February 2002
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"The Funeral Casino" is a heretical ethnography of the global age. Setting his book within Thailand's pro-democracy movement and the street massacres that accompanied it, Alan Klima offers a strikingly original interpretation of mass-mediated violence through a study of funeral gambling and Buddhist meditation on death.

The fieldwork for the book began in 1992, when a freewheeling market of illegal "massacre-imagery" videos blossomed in Bangkok on the very site where, days earlier, for the third time in two decades, a military-controlled government had killed scores of unarmed pro-democracy protesters. Such killings and their subsequent representation have lent force to Thailand's transition from military control to a "media-financial complex." Probing the ways in which death is marketed, visualized, and remembered through practices both local and global, Klima inverts conventional relationships between ethnography and theory through a compelling narrative that reveals a surprising new direction available to anthropology and critical theory.

Ethnography here engages with the philosophy of activism and the politics of memory, media representation of violence, and globalization. In focusing on the particular array of tactics in Thai Buddhism and protest politics for connecting death and life, past and present, this book unveils a vivid and haunting picture of community, responsibility, and accountability in the new world order.

Co-Winner of the Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing, Society for Humanistic Anthropology and American Anthropological Association "Klima's attempt to bring philosophy into ethnography is important... This book is an important contribution to the ongoing critique and dialogue in anthropology about visuality, representation and symbolic exchange."--Christophe Robert, Anthropological Quarterly

List of Illustrations vii
Note on Transcription and Monetary Conversion ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introductionp. 1
The Passed
The New World: Bangkok and the World Order without Historyp. 31
Revolting History: The Necromantic Power of Public Massacresp. 53
Bloodless Power: A Moral Economy of the Thai Crowdp. 89
Repulsiveness of the Body Politic: An Economics of the Black May Massacrep. 122
Kamma
The Charnel Ground: Visions of Death in Buddhist Asceis and the Redemption of Mechanical Reproductionp. 169
The Funeral Casino: A Mindful Economyp. 231
Notesp. 291
Bibliographyp. 305
Indexp. 313
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691074603
ISBN-10: 0691074607
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 1st February 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.51