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Ref ID: 28663
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Jonsson, Hjorleifur
Title: Above and beyond: Zomia and the ethnographic challenge of/for regional history
Date: 2010
Source: History and Anthropology
DOI: 10.1080/02757201003793705
Abstract: James Scott’s notion of Zomia proposes a new look at historical and social dynamics in a vast area of the Asian hinterlands, in terms of deliberate state-avoidance that came to an end through the nation state’s superior techniques of control. Zomia is a concept metaphor that defines the social reality it purportedly only describes. My examination points to a pervasive problem with the historicization of highland regions in Europe as much as in Asia. Juxtaposing Scott’s case with two other definitions of Zomia, I call attention to the way concept metaphors define social landscapes and historical dynamics. Drawing on the work of several Europeanists, I suggest a model of rural–urban relations that does not privilege either a community or the state as the principle of society and history, which may overcome the separate disciplinary biases of anthropology, history and political science.
Date Created: 9/21/2011
Volume: 21
Number: 2
Page Start: 191
Page End: 212