Crying Shame: Metaculture, Modernity, and the Exaggerated by James M. Wilce

By James M. Wilce

Development on ethnographic fieldwork and large ancient facts, Crying disgrace analyzes lament throughout hundreds of thousands of years and approximately each continent.Explores the iconic energy of lament: expressing grief via crying songs, usually in a collective ritual contextDraws at the author’s wide ethnographic fieldwork, and special long term engagement and participation within the phenomenonOffers a startling new point of view at the nature of modernity and postmodernityAn very important addition to turning out to be literature on cultural globalization

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Example text

It is a study of invocations of lament, recognizing that such metadiscourses always surround and regiment communicative forms. What gives this meta-study its integrity is the fact that people use these words – English lament, Greek thrênos, etc. – not that their meaning is clear or fixed. I delimit my study with reference to category labels others invoke. These labels represent and reproduce notions of a unified genre or set of genres, and such notions tell us something of the societies and cultural processes that generate them – including my own American academic culture.

The G in SPEAKING, genre, is notoriously difficult to define. Genre is a kind of sedimentation of the outcome of SPEAKIN (David Samuels, personal communication, August 2002). Genres are structures of expectation guiding the production and reception of text (Bauman 1999). As reflections on performances, genres are metacultural. ” Chapter 4 surveys the many, historically evolving, terms in ancient Greek that designate lament-related performances. The evolution of the lexical semantics of Greek lament went hand in hand with the social evolution of Greek society, for example Solon’s attempt to ban women’s wailing – but not the more staid, entextualized performances of men commemorating other men.

I delimit my study with reference to category labels others invoke. These labels represent and reproduce notions of a unified genre or set of genres, and such notions tell us something of the societies and cultural processes that generate them – including my own American academic culture. Analyzing the diversity: SPEAKING of laments A common rubric for analyzing speech events like laments in linguistic anthropology is Hymes’ (1972) SPEAKING mnemonic, which prompts attention to a recognized set of issues important to ethnographic descriptions of communicative events.

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