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CEDLA Latin America Studies
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Dignity for the Voiceless
Willem Assies's Anthropological Work in Context
Edited by Ton Salman, Salvador Marti i Puig, and Gemma van der Haar
348 pages, 2 tables, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78238-292-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2014)
eISBN 978-1-78238-293-5 eBook
“This is a fascinating body of work…I was most impressed by his balance of "hard" political-science analysis and the softer socio-cultural interpretations and by the balance of theory and applied work (scholarship speaking to real world contemporary problems).” · Edward Fischer, Vanderbilt University
Willem Assies died in 2010 at the age of 55. The various stages of his career as a political anthropologist of Latin American illustrate how astute a researcher he was. He had a keen eye for the contradictions he observed during his fieldwork but also enjoyed theoretical debate. A distrust of power led him not only to attempt to understand “people without voice” but to work alongside them so they could discover and find their own voice. Willem Assies explored the messy, often untidy daily lives of people, with their inconsistencies, irrationalities, and passions, but also with their hopes, sense of beauty, solidarity, and quest for dignity. This collection brings together some of Willem Assies’s best, most fascinating, and still highly relevant writings.
Ton Salman has worked on grassroots organizations, citizenship and democratization processes in Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia and is Associate Professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the VU University of Amsterdam.
Salvador Martí i Puig has done research on the Nicaraguan revolution and Central American and Mexican politics and social movements. At present he is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Salamanca and member of CIDOB-Barcelona.
Gemma van der Haar is Assistant Professor at the chair group Sociology of Development and Change/Disaster Studies at Wageningen University. She is a development sociologist interested in social practice in conflict and postconflict settings. She has worked extensively on Chiapas (Mexico).
Subject: Anthropology (General) Development Studies
Area: Latin America and the Caribbean
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