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Fear and everyday life in rural Nepal

Judith Pettigrew and Kamal Adhikari
Dialectical Anthropology
Vol. 33, No. 3/4, Windows into a Revolution: Ethnographies of Maoism in South Asia (December 2009), pp. 403-422
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29790896
Page Count: 20
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Fear and everyday life in rural Nepal
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Abstract

This paper analyses fear in a village in central Nepal during the 'People's War'. Spanning the years from 1999 to 2008, the paper illustrates how the different phases of the insurgency and individual circumstances resulted in people's relationship with fear changing over time. By presenting a chronological analysis of fear, the authors draw attention to the interrelationship between fear, temporality and sociality and show that fear is always contextually situated, differently experienced through time and related to personal circumstances. Villagers had strongly developed coping strategies which they drew upon to support themselves and decrease their fear. Some people, however, suffered such a degree of structural violence that experiencing fear was seen as a privilege. Others denied their fear as part of their performance of manliness while others coped by ridiculing fear. Although a certain amount of suspicion and mistrust lingered, most people recovered from the impact of chronic fear. They fully returned to their field and forest work as well as their previous social activities following the peace agreement of 2006.

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