This portrait of rural life in contemporary Southeast Asia is both an ethnography of indigenous views of human development and a theoretical consideration of how any ethnopsychology is embedded in society and culture. Drawing on long-term fieldwork in a Shan village in northern Thailand, Nancy Eberhardt illustrates how indigenous theories of the life course are connected to local constructions of self and personhood. The author demonstrates the real-life connections between the "religious" and the "psychological" and shows how such beliefs and practices are used, sometimes strategically, in people's constructions of themselves, in their interpretations of others' behaviour, and in their attempts at social positioning. Individual chapters explore Shan ideas about the overall course of human development, from infancy to old age and beyond, and show how these ideas inform people's understanding of personhood and maturity, gender and social inequality, illness and well-being, emotions and mental health. With notes, glossary, references and index.
Imagining the Course of Life: Self Transformation in a Shan Buddhist Community
$45.70 Regular Price
PublisherUniversity of Hawaii Press