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March 3: Weapons of the Weak, Everyday Forms of Resistance

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York University
ANTH 3120
Karl Schmid

James Scott – Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance • Hegemonic order • Between hegemonic compliance and collective defiance, there are subtle forms of everday resistsance • middle ground that poeple use in different kinds of situations when people are affected by power • Foot dragging, evasion, false compliance, pilfering, feigning ignorance, sabotage, tax and conscription evasion, linguistic tricks, ritual gestures • the elite like to hide or disguise their dominance • the people at the bottom in these kinds of situations try to hide their acts of resistance, their actions, and work in this concealed level as well Mursi of Ethiopia • For tourists, the Mursi are the embodiment of primitivism • Encounter is mostly about photos and the cost of permission: ◦ Tourists want to capture the exotic imagery of the Mursi as 'primitives' ▪ they don't want the commercialization of the Mursi's culture ◦ Mursi plainly want money from their encounter • Creation of Solbu as exchange place ◦ they are usually nomadic ◦ this is a particular site of encounter with the tourist ◦ not a typical camp of the Mursi, but became big bc of tourist activity ◦ most of the economic activity takes place outside of the village ◦ had a commuter effect bc of the tourists; ▪ young women w the lip-plates were those who were most photographed ▪ would come in from outside villages, wait for the tourists, and then return to their own villages • Fiction of the Photographic Frame ◦ Tourists want to frame primitivism ◦ Mursi gain from photography by fictionalized representation (staged authenticity) ◦ control of the frame, clean photos that are decontextualized • Tacts of the Mursi ◦ Altering the body and face ◦ Swarming the car ▪ have to be kind of aggressive to get the attention of the tourist ◦ Joining the photo frame ▪ more people means more money ◦ Requesting more money ▪ counting the shutterspeed of the cameras ▪ increase the cost when other elements are included; baby, dog, hut, etc
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