By Andrew Solomon
From the winner of the nationwide ebook Award and the nationwide Books Critics’ Circle Award—and the most unique thinkers of our time—a riveting choice of essays approximately locations in dramatic transition.
Far and Away collects Andrew Solomon’s writings approximately areas present process seismic shifts—political, cultural, and non secular. Chronicling his stint at the barricades in Moscow in 1991, whilst he joined artists in resisting the coup whose failure ended the Soviet Union, his 2002 account of the rebirth of tradition in Afghanistan following the autumn of the Taliban, his insightful appraisal of a Myanmar seeped in contradictions because it slowly, fitfully pushes towards freedom, and lots of different tales of profound upheaval, this e-book offers a different window onto the very thought of social switch. together with his signature brilliance and compassion, Solomon demonstrates either how historical past is altered via participants, and the way own identities are altered while governments alter.
A journalist and essayist of exceptional conception and prescience, Solomon captures the essence of those cultures. Ranging throughout seven continents and twenty-five years, some distance and Away takes an impressive trip into the guts of terribly diversified studies, but Solomon reveals a typical humanity at any place he travels. Illuminating the improvement of his personal genius, his tales are consistently intimate and sometimes either humorous and deeply relocating.
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Additional info for Far & Away: Places on the Brink of Change: Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years
This chapter examines the dynamic interplay between who is participating and the emergent meanings of Hmong identity that result from their participation. More specifically, it focuses on the role of Hmong women in the (re)construction of Hmong identities in the diaspora. Hmong Identification Processes Following Goffman (1959), I wish to focus my discussion on the ‘work’ being done by Hmong with respect to identity; that is, the presentation of self or more broadly ‘identity work’. This concept highlights the fact that identity construction is not just about the development of appropriate narratives, but also (and some would argue, fundamentally) involves social action in the context of established and emergent social relationships.
Rising educational levels bring these issues to the fore. When ‘traditional’ Hmongness is emphasised, those in the West attempting to reconstruct it look to Thailand and Laos for ‘authenticity’. For many young Hmong, visits to northern Thailand and Laos are viewed with enthusiasm and are encouraged by parents as a way of reclaiming traditional Hmongness. For some Hmong men in the West, marrying Thai Hmong women is a way of maintaining traditional Hmongness. It can be argued that the maintenance of such connections with the past involves a reinvention of tradition which takes the form of a ‘strategic essentialism’ (Spivak 1990, Ang 1993).
Thus, to a large extent, the maintenance of Hmong culture is dependent upon the maintenance of Hmong health and religious practices. The Hmong recognise that, in a multicultural society, such practices need to be integrated into the Australian way of life. They are therefore keen for Anglo-Australians to embrace their holistic health practices, if not the religious beliefs that underlie them. This is clearly evident in the following quotations from interviews with Hmong in Hobart: Probably the most important thing to me is to be allowed to practise our religion freely without any restrictions … That is what I want and that is what I think every Hmong member here wants.
Far & Away: Places on the Brink of Change: Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years by Andrew Solomon