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The Politics of Storytelling: Violence, Transgression and Intersubjectivity Paperback – 1 Feb 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Museum Tusculanum Press (1 Feb. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8772897376
  • ISBN-13: 978-8772897370
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 14.9 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,012,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Hannah Arendt argued that the 'political' is best understood as a power relation between private and public realms, and that storytelling is a vital bridge between these realms -- a site where individualised passions and shared views are contested and recombined. In his new book, Michael Jackson explores and expands Arendt's ideas through a cross-cultural analysis of storytelling that includes Kuranko stories from Sierra Leone, Aboriginal stories of the stolen generation, stories recounted before the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and stories of refugees, renegades, and war veterans. Focusing on the violent and volatile conditions under which stories are and are not told, and exploring the various ways in which narrative re-workings of reality enable people to symbolically alter subject-object relations, Jackson shows how storytelling may restore to the intersubjective fields of self and other, self and state, self and cosmos, the conditions of viable sociality. The book concludes in a reflexive vein, exploring the interface between public discourse and private experience.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The introduction, part 1, is fantastic, best & most useful anthropological monograph I ever read. His ethnographic work is less interesting, but it is still worth reading. Not easy, but when understood it will increase your understanding of what storytelling is about.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling explained 8 Jan. 2013
By Carl Thebo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very well written book just the theoretical and practical discussions I have been searching - I strongly recomend the book to any one who wants to understand serve trauma and storytelling.
The text tells about the very special expereinces from serve trauma and also about reasons to the silence, very few is telling about their experiences.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Work 11 Jan. 2013
By NFAGDTRFB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jackson's 'Politics of Storytelling' is an extraordinary work for scholars across the academy. His essays are critical reading for any student interested in uncovering new directions in the field practice of anthropology and the future of the discipline. For myself, I tend to read Jackson to keep in touch with contemporary uses of existentialism outside of the echo chamber of philosophy journals. I suspect any scholar of psychology or the psychosis of war and it's attendant traumas benefits greatly from Jackson's work as well. This book in particular makes for an excellent coda to students and colleagues who have been inspired by Jackson's probably best known work, Minima Ethnographica. It returns to some of the themes first broached much earlier in Jackson's career and gives us the benefit of watching the evolution of his thoughts on subjects such as intersubjectivity as the dexterity of his thinking grows alongside changes in the African political and cultural imagination.

I must confess that I rarely write reviews on Amazon and felt compelled to do so after reading the unfortunate critical review in the comments. The reviewer has taken an admittedly difficult passage regarding the function of play and used Jackson's example of child pornography to paint the entire work as some sort of apologist text for sex crimes. Presenting this passage as Jackson advocating for child pornography is disingenuous at best. This book deals explicitly with the trauma of wanton violence of all kinds and explores the means people use to recover their lives after unthinkable events and quotidian travails. The reviewer selected a difficult passage and immediately used it as "evidence," quickly going on to reveal their true concern - that Jackson is somehow an imperialist because of his ethnographic work. Whether anthropology as a whole discipline and project is, sui generis, imperial is a matter of much debate and, somewhat ironically, the focus of many of Jackson's essays.

This book deserves a home on the bookshelf of any serious scholar of anthropology, philosophy or student of Africa. The particular focus of this work relating to storytelling makes it a valuable resource to anyone curious about writing, literature or everyday storytelling. The work is dense and assumes a well-read background from its reader so some may miss many of Jackson's references. None the less, it remains accessible to the dedicated reader.
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