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Globalizing Untouchability: Grief and The Politics of Depressing Speech

Globalizing Untouchability: Grief and The Politics of Depressing Speech Social Text 86, Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring 2006. © 2006 by Duke University Press. Sarah Pinto many babies.” With the authority that comes with repetition, seemingly descriptive statements circulate through communities and institutions, bearing the abstract neutrality of technical speech. Such efforts to account for loss in terms at once analytic and moralistic move through Rambal’s Wife’s world, even as they postulate a worldview that locates her in social hierarchies of progress. Contrasting ways of navigating loss instigate the questions at the heart of this article: How do sorrow and, sometimes, outrage enter everyday speech, and how do seemingly neutral speech acts enact power dynamics that perpetuate grief? What do ways of speaking tell us about the stakes marginalized people have in the moralities attendant to development? If such languages bear at the same time powers of homogenization and differentiation, how do their distinctly local circulations bespeak a subjective zone of what Achille Mbembe calls “necropolitics,” the morbid heterology of citizenship and sovereignty? 2 To address these questions, and to describe ways those at the bottom of social hierarchies — in this case rural low-caste women — move through such processes, I turn to theoretical perspectives drawing http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Text Duke University Press

Globalizing Untouchability: Grief and The Politics of Depressing Speech

Social Text , Volume 24 (1 86) – Mar 1, 2006

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2006 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0164-2472
eISSN
1527-1951
DOI
10.1215/01642472-24-1_86-81
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Social Text 86, Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring 2006. © 2006 by Duke University Press. Sarah Pinto many babies.” With the authority that comes with repetition, seemingly descriptive statements circulate through communities and institutions, bearing the abstract neutrality of technical speech. Such efforts to account for loss in terms at once analytic and moralistic move through Rambal’s Wife’s world, even as they postulate a worldview that locates her in social hierarchies of progress. Contrasting ways of navigating loss instigate the questions at the heart of this article: How do sorrow and, sometimes, outrage enter everyday speech, and how do seemingly neutral speech acts enact power dynamics that perpetuate grief? What do ways of speaking tell us about the stakes marginalized people have in the moralities attendant to development? If such languages bear at the same time powers of homogenization and differentiation, how do their distinctly local circulations bespeak a subjective zone of what Achille Mbembe calls “necropolitics,” the morbid heterology of citizenship and sovereignty? 2 To address these questions, and to describe ways those at the bottom of social hierarchies — in this case rural low-caste women — move through such processes, I turn to theoretical perspectives drawing

Journal

Social TextDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2006

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