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Gods, Ghosts, and GangstersRitual Violence, Martial Arts, and Masculinity on the Margins of Chinese Society$
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Avron Boretz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833770

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833770.001.0001

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The Mountains and Beyond

(p.58) chapter 3 Taidong
Gods, Ghosts, and Gangsters

Avron Boretz

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter introduces the first of two main field sites in the present study, the Taiwanese coastal city of Taidong (and environs), invoking local (as well as outsiders') narratives that identify salient attributes of the landscape and local social history with communal experience and collective character. It focuses in particular on descriptions of remoteness, marginality, wildness, and violence featured in the informants' narratives of place, community, and self; on the ways in which social performance and ritual practice are shaped by and play out the ambivalences and limitations but also what informants perceive to be the positive aspects of the objective geophysical, economic, and social conditions (including the vexed asymmetrical relations between the Han Chinese and aborigine communities).

Keywords:   Taiwan, Taidong, social history, Han Chinese communities, aborigines

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