Community in the Balance
Morality and Social Change in an Indonesian Society
- ISBN: 9781594510786
- Extent: 256pp
- Release Date: 20 Oct 2007
- Size: 229mm x 152mm
- Format: Hardback
- Restricted Territories: View details...
- Category: Anthropology
- Buy Now £67.50
Community in the Balance presents a fresh perspective on some classic social
science issues. It examines the conflicts and tensions that permeate day-to-day
interactions of a people in a remote region of the eastern Indonesian province of
Maluku. The Maneo openly tout the pleasures of living alone in the forests of
Seram away from the demands of kith and kin and the scrutiny that comes from
life in villages in close proximity. The option is real. Yet while the incessant social
demands and low-level enmities they attribute to village life are also felt, most
acutely in the peril of sorcery, the accounts of strife are exaggerated to help
establish the mutuality of the terms on which people do associate—as a collective
sacrifice and virtue. Drawing on Aristotelian ideas of morality and exploring the
modalities of recognition, desire, and displacement, the book focuses on the
strategies of negotiation and obfuscation Maneo employ to foster community life.
As volition is central to moral practice, the book’s analysis of the subsequent
religious conflagration that swept the province between 1999 and 2002
illuminates how fears and rumors of attack narrowed options that might
otherwise have enabled enough people to opt out, condemn the violence, and
perhaps contain it.
About The Author
Jim Hagen lived in Indonesia for four years, including 20 months of field work on the island of Seram. Currently an administrator at Trinity College, he has taught at Mount Holyoke College, the University of Cincinnati, and John Carroll University and has lectured widely.