Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of Peoples' Lives

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9780415920124: Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of Peoples' Lives
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In this innovative study, six women and men from Eastern Indonesia narrate their own lives by talking about their possessions.

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[T]he book's heart really lies in the vicissitudes of personal experience, and the ethnographer's relationships with certain individuals. In this respect, the book properly takes its place among other recent works that center on the particularities of experience. Here the author's long fieldwork in Kodi serves her well.

Synopsis:

In this innovative study, six women and men from Eastern Indonesia narrate their own lives by talking about their possessions--domestic objects used to construct a coherent identity through a process of identification and "self-historicizing." Janet Hoskins explores how things are given biographical significance and entangled in sexual politics, expressed in dualistic metaphors where the familiar distinctions between person and object and female and male are drawn in unfamiliar ways. Biographical Objects is an ethnography of persons which takes the form of a study of things, showing how the object is not only a metaphor for the self but a pivot for reflexivity and introspection, a tool for autobiographic elaboration, a way of knowing oneself through things.

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9780415920117: Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of Peoples' Lives

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ISBN 10:  0415920116 ISBN 13:  9780415920117
Publisher: Routledge, 1998
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