Arguing Sainthood: Modernity, Psychoanalysis, and Islam by Katherine Pratt Ewing

By Katherine Pratt Ewing

In Arguing Sainthood, Katherine Pratt Ewing examines Sufi non secular meanings and practices in Pakistan and their relation to the Westernizing affects of modernity and the shaping of the postcolonial self. utilizing either anthropological fieldwork and psychoanalytic concept to significantly reinterpret theories of subjectivity, Ewing examines the creation of id within the context of a posh social box of conflicting ideologies and interests.
Ewing opinions Eurocentric cultural theorists and Orientalist discourse whereas additionally taking factor with expatriate postcolonial thinkers Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak. She demanding situations the idea of a monolithic Islamic modernity with a purpose to discover the lived realities of people, relatively these of Pakistani saints and their fans. via reading the continuities among present Sufi practices and past renowned practices within the Muslim global, Ewing identifies within the Sufi culture a reflexive, serious attention that has often been linked to the fashionable topic. Drawing on her education in medical and theoretical psychoanalysis in addition to her anthropological fieldwork in Lahore, Pakistan, Ewing argues for the price of Lacan in anthropology as she offers the root for retheorizing postcolonial experiences.

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Hegemony What does "hegemony" mean when we focus on the shaping of individual consciousness and subjectivity? As the term has been taken up in anthropology and cultural studies, "hegemony" is generally understood to be a historically particular set of premises about the nature of reality, often expressed through habitual practices that have come to appear natural to those who enact them. 14 In other words, for the subject of a hegemonic discourse, arbitrary conventions and signs are mistaken for an essential reality.

Postcolonial Subject 15 understandings of how signs operate to generate structures of meaning that playa central role in organizing experience. " These terms, though used freely in an array of social theories, are actually quite variable in meaning and often subject to considerable conceptual slippage as they are taken up in diverse theoretical approaches. Since I contend with much of this diversity - a consequence of positioning this study at the intersection of the social and the individual- I have felt it necessary to articulate in detail this conceptual slippage.

The subject as locus of intentionality and "truth" always threatens to escape these Imaginary identifications. From a developmental perspective, the subject rests initially on archaic, fragmentary imagos, bodily experiences founded on the gratifying presence and subsequent absence of the mother. These are fragmentary images that have not been captured and taken up by the ego or self (Lacan 1977:14) into the Imaginary Order of fantasy. With the entry into language, the subject is constituted by a Symbolic Order - a structure of signs in which meaning is based on difference, in the Saussurean sense.

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