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Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics$
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Niko Besnier

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833381

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833381.001.0001

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The Twenty-Dollar Piglets

The Twenty-Dollar Piglets

(p.120) 5 The Twenty-Dollar Piglets
Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics

Niko Besnier

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter puts the general discussion of the previous chapters “to the test” by analyzing an incident that revolved around a very brief gossip session about a marginalized member of the society that took place during the author’s 1985 fieldwork. The analysis of the incident enables an exploration of how texts articulate with reputation, morality, the truth, personhood, and large-scale forces. In this process, the microscopic tools developed for the analysis of gossip talk are mobilized to demonstrate how they can provide an understanding of these various articulations. Indeed, analyzing the formal structure of gossip talk is not an end, but a means of apprehending issues of more general import. The chapter begins by exploring what gossip maximally contrasts with, formally, ideologically, and contextually: oratory.

Keywords:   gossip, reputation, morality, truth, personhood, oratory

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