Death Without Weeping, Chapter 6 Notes

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Anthropology 1795
Catalina Laserna

Amy Chyao Anthropology 1795 Catalina Laserna Chapter 6 - Everyday Violence: Bodies, Death, and Silence Death Without Weeping Notes Introduction § Connecting everyday experiences of the displaced Alto do Cruzeiro moradores to political issues § Document tragedies of the disappeared The Breakdown of Consensus § Tone: disgust, irony, e.g. “Only fools would obey a stop sign; never mind that the slow and fussy solteirona (old maid) of the Chaves family was knocked down by a speeding Fiat as the tried to cross the main praça (town square) of Bom Jesus on her way home from Mass.” (Scheper-Hughes 216) § Violence as both planned and a reaction o Kidnapping and ransom as “war on the greedy latifundiários” (latifúndio: large landed estate) o Drought, forced out of roçados (leased field from planting subsistence crops), hungry rural workers loot o Police-affiliated death squads usually met with silence or rapid sign language because no one wants violence to be turned toward them o Capangas (hired gunmen by latifundiários) used as “pest control” § Violence viewed as an anomaly in a normally peaceful town and even a source of temporary excitement § Also greeted with resignation, “Life is harsh. Man makes, but God destroys.” (218) § No enforced criminal justice against police or capangas § Lack of indignation on both the sides of the authorities and the moradores o “Why should we criticize the ‘execution’ of malandros (good-for-nothings)?” o Moradores are silent out of fear and speak to show acquiescence Violence and the Taken-for-Granted World § Scheper-Hughes’ characterization: “terrifying…appalling” (219) § “Anonymity and routinization” § “Climate of ontological insecurity about the rights to ownership of one’s body was fostered by a studied, bureaucratic indifference to the lives and deaths of ‘marginals,’ criminals, and other no-account people” § Only emergency when social classes that are not usually targeted are subject to terror § Harsh judgment on all states that practice these atrocities § Sarcasm: “‘Biopower,’ indeed.” (220) § Basaglia: “institutions of violence” § Hugo: “torture has ceased to exist” § Foucault: in industrialized societies, shift to terror upon the mind rather than the body o But more democratic governments still retain the right to use physical terror, e.g. drug war § Statement by Brazilian National Bishops’ Conference blaming state led to murder of priests (1980) § Race crimes, criminal needs for lower classes, but socially produced for higher classes § Basic human rights considered favors by the government, as the constitution was adopted prior to abolition § Rampant corruption § “Brazilian criminal proceedings are organized to show a gradual, step by step, ritual of progressive incrimination and humiliation, the outcome of which must be either the confession or the acquittal. The legal proceedings are represented as a punishment in themselves.” - Caldeira (227) Mundane Surrealism § “There is another kind of violence” (230) § Nobodies (fulano-de-tal, translated as so-and-so), somebody (fildalgo) § Over half deaths are shantytown children younger than five years old, mostly malnutrition § More than three-fourths of recorded deaths have blank causes of d
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