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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 Two Widows

The Two Widows

(p.143) 6 The Two Widows
Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics

Niko Besnier

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter deals with another set of events, the marginalization of two women through sorcery allegations, backgrounded again by changing economic and social conditions. Here the focus shifts to the targets of gossip and seeks to make sense of their divergent responses to the gossip. The chapter foregrounds several themes, which are closely interrelated. Among these are that gossip is not only a production, but also an instrument for the negotiation of existing social relationships; that women are both perpetrators and victims of gossip; and that certain kinds of gossip become further enmeshed with the epistemological and moral ambiguity of spirits, mediumship, and sorcery.

Keywords:   gossip, sorcery, marginalized women, spirits, mediumship

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