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Bryan Fanning

This chapter considers anti-Semitism in Irish society from independence in 1922 until the 1950s with a specific focus upon Ireland's response to Jewish refugees before, during and after the Holocaust. Bauman argues that the Holocaust was the consequence of bureaucratic and rational characteristics of modern western societies whereby modernity became a precondition for the expression of a particular genocidal form of racism. The chapter argues that the mainstream politics of post-independence Ireland never embraced anti-Semitism, because of the absence of a perceived 'Jewish problem' in Irish society. Twentieth century expressions of anti-Semitism in Ireland constructed the Jews as enemies of the Church and enemies of the nation; though perhaps here the distinction was a subtle and unnecessary one within the context of a hegemonically Catholic nation state. The anti-Semitism which found expression in Irish immigration practices from the 1930s to the 1950s was similarly grounded in prevalent racialisations and stereotypes.

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Bryan Fanning

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book locates racism in Irish society within a historical context. It argues that Ireland was never immune from the racist ideologies that governed relationships between the west and the rest. The book explores how the processes of nation-building which shaped contemporary Irish society and the Irish state were accompanied by a politics of national identity within which claims of social membership of various minority groups were discounted. It considers anti-Semitism in Irish society from independence in 1922 until the 1950s. The book examines how contemporary responses to refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland have been shaped by a legacy of exclusionary state practices. It also examines anti-Traveller racism in Irish society since the 1960s. The book evaluates efforts to contest racism and discrimination faced by minorities in Ireland as expressions of multiculturalism.

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Rebecca Walker

Returning to the ideas of the Valkai women in this chapter, the author attempts to tie together the threads of everyday understanding, meanings of the ordinary, and hope for the future. She reveals the extent to which her understanding of everyday life in Batticaloa has been based upon the lives and visions of this group of people, and particularly the women who worked with them and what they had to say. She explains why she believes this understanding is vital to a wider sense of Sri Lanka, especially in relation to the present context of 'post-war' and a 'post-conflict' future. A frequent topic of conversation that arose in the Batticaloa household where the author lived with members of the Valkai group, was about balance. That is, how to feel balanced or to sustain balance while confusion and chaos cut through everyday experiences and meaning.

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Enduring violence

Everyday life and conflict in eastern Sri Lanka

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Rebecca Walker

This book focuses on the experiences of Tamil-speaking people who have lived through and continue to face conflict and violence in Sri Lanka on a daily basis. It focuses on the years between 2005 and 2007 when the country was facing massive change in the lead up to the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamils Eelam (LTTE). At this time, while violence waxed and waned, intensifying at times and at others casting a dark shadow over daily encounters, people carried on with their lives, negotiating through and around the violence. The way in which the topics in the book flow reflects the author's journey of research and the various issues that became important along the way. Thus, in following the author's experiences through the conflict and the tsunami, the book builds up a larger and richer picture of life in Batticaloa that moves between accounts of everyday violence and suffering. Using ethnographic experiences and narratives collected over twenty-two months between 2004 and 2007, the book argues that to look to the moments of hope and imagination as well as the everyday endurance must constitute a core element of anthropological representations of violence and suffering. This includes highlighting the non-violent spaces or parts of daily life, which are less dramatically framed by violence, and are often lost in contexts of conflict, faded out as weak shadows to the more forceful violence.

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Between violence and the everyday

questions of the ordinary

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Rebecca Walker

The narratives of many women that author had spoken with had provided an insight that showed how people's response to 'suyal nilamai' went beyond the present and took in the years of violence and struggle that people had faced. Taking the notions of the everyday and the ordinary as the driving concepts, in this chapter the author considers how the daily lives of civilians in Batticaloa might be interpreted and understood in the given context of protracted conflict. Breaking with attempts to think of the social and cultural system as totalitarian and controlling, de Certeau's The Practice of Everyday Life associated the everyday less with the ensemble of scripted human activities than with unpredictability and creative potential. Influenced by reflexive anthropology, de Certeau explored the position of the subject in relation to the complex weave of everyday elements, and drawing from examples, he illustrated experiences of embodiment and enactment.

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Series:

Rebecca Walker

On 19 May 2009, the government of Sri Lanka defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamils Eelam (LTTE) in a brutal and bloody final battle ending a civil war that has ravaged the island of Sri Lanka for almost three decades. The Sri Lankan conflict has been well documented, and as a popular setting for research, including numerous anthropological case studies and political studies of ethnic conflict, terrorism, and peace, has been represented in many different ways. In the course of dealing with violence, the Sri Lankan state has resorted to large-scale extra-judicial killings against Tamils from the early 1980s and also against Sinhalese youth during the two Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-led insurgencies in 1971 and 1980s. The chapter also presents some key concepts discussed in this book.

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Tom Woodin

The number of young people writing in London grew significantly in the 1970s and 1980s. Several key strands can be identified: the work produced around Stepney Words and the school strike leading to work on youth culture; the writing of migrants who reflected on past and present; and three longer pieces of autobiography and novels. The ways in which these young people engaged with writing revealed links to wider literary models as well as an ambiguous sense of self. Overall, they pose challenges for our understanding of the history of childhood and assumptions about maturity. Distinctions between the learning of young people and adult education reveal considerable overlap rather than a sharp distinction between the two.

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Tom Woodin

The writing produced in workshops explored varied forms of expression including autobiography, short stories, dialect, drama, poetry and novels. There were significant debates about the nature and meaning of working-class writing and whether it had any distinctive features. Divisions between forms of writing were actively challenged and new forms of subjectivity and ways of representing experience were developed. However, there were also pressures to write within existing forms. New modes of expression could become tiring after a time when different approaches were required. Overall, writing in the Fed was marked by the creative interpretation of experience and vernacular voice. It reveals tensions between bearing witness and creative interpretation and between representing a collective social experience and the individual life story.

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Tom Woodin

This is a unique study of working-class writing and community publishing. It evaluates the largely unexamined history of the emergence and development of working-class writing and publishing workshops since the 1970s. The nature of working-class writing is assessed in relation to the work of young people, older people, adult literacy students as well as writing workshops. Key themes and tensions in working-class writing are explored in relation to historical and literary frameworks. This is the first in-depth study of this body of writing. In addition, a number of crucial debates are examined, for example, over class and identity, critical pedagogy and learning, relationships with audiences and the role of mainstream cultural institutions in comparison with alternatives. The contradictions and tensions in all these areas are surveyed in coming to a historical understanding of this topic.

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Tom Woodin

Working-class writing and publishing workshops had their origins in the counter-cultural trends of the late 1960s. By the 1970s they were engaging with urban communities where there was a strong class consciousness. This chapter charts the way in which working-class culture became a significant source of new ideas and practices. In particular, the cultural role of schools, adult education, community organising, adult literacy, popular history and the labour movement are examined in relation to the emergence of a movement of working-class writing and publishing workshops. In each of these areas, ideas about culture, technology and tradition were being reworked in order to foster popular cultural participation.