This book examines the impacts of the Khmer Rouge revolution and civil war on O'Thmaa and its surrounding communities, which served as “base areas” that provided the group with the human and material support crucial to their success in seizing control of the nation in 1975. Drawing on fieldwork conducted by the author in September 2001–August 2002 and in September 2002–October 2003, the book investigates how communities negotiate the memories associated with difficult pasts and come together again to rebuild their lives. Using morality and “social memory” as framing devices, it considers the ways that the people of O'Thmaa try to recover from the destruction wrought by nearly thirty years of war and genocide during the Pol Pot era. This introductory chapter provides an overview of ethnographic studies that were mostly undertaken in Cambodia beginning in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It also discusses the preparation, fieldwork, and research methodology employed for this book.
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