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'Indirect' symbolic violence and rivalry between equals in rural Punjab, Pakistan.

Lyon, S. M. (2004) ''Indirect' symbolic violence and rivalry between equals in rural Punjab, Pakistan.', Durham anthropology journal., 12 (1). pp. 37-50.


This paper examines the social impact of the rice distribution ritual called a dég, in Punjab, Pakistan. This ritual exposes modes of dominance expressed or asserted by `symbolically' violent means. I focus on one dég which was significant by its excess, providing a clear example of the roles of the `giver', the `receiver' and the rivalries between collateral groups. Bourdieu's notions of symbolic violence provide one analytical social model of a mode of domination. This paper is not a refutation of Bourdieu's analysis so much as a conceptual and geographic extension. The violence in this case study deviates from Bourdieu's pattern in that the direction of symbolic violence, or assertion of control through non physically violent means, is not directed against the receiver. I suggest that the analytical model must be expanded to include indirect symbolic violence in which the receiver is incidental to the intended direction of domination.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Ritual giving, Dominance, Rivalry, Food, Pakistan.
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Record Created:02 Jul 2008
Last Modified:20 Apr 2011 09:42

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