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'Power-Hurt': The Pains of Kindness Among Disabled Karen Refugees in Thailand
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
Number of Authors: 12020 (English)In: Ethnos, ISSN 0014-1844, E-ISSN 1469-588X, Vol. 85, no 2, p. 224-240Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper I show how, for many Karen living as refugees in 'temporary-shelter-areas' in Thailand, acts of care and kindness often slipped into something painful and controlling. Drawing on fieldwork among Karen refugees disabled by landmines I show how asking for and receiving help was almost always accompanied by the visceral sensation of ana, literally, 'power hurt'. On the one hand, ana was the force driving the circulation of care and kindness, provoking people to help others. On the other hand this circulation also carried with it the constant potential to compromise not only the recipient's but also the donor's 'power', which was understood as their capacity to have an effect on the world. In this manner ana may offer us with a way to grasp the ethical-affective basis of a social arrangement that slips smoothly between lateral solidarities and vertical hierarchical relations allowing egalitarianism and hierarchy to co-exist.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 85, no 2, p. 224-240
Keywords [en]
Care, Karen, disabilities, Thailand, egalitarianism, hierarchy
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179476DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2018.1542411ISI: 000512641200003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-179476DiVA, id: diva2:1413714
Available from: 2020-03-11 Created: 2020-03-11 Last updated: 2020-03-11Bibliographically approved

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