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Rudge, Alice (2023) Sensing Others: Voicing Batek Ethical Lives at the Edge of a Malaysian Rainforest. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

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Abstract

Sensing Others explores the lives of Indigenous Batek people in Peninsular Malaysia amid the strange and the new in the borderland between protected national park and oil palm plantation. As their ancestral forests disappear around them, Batek people nevertheless attempt to live well among the strange Others they now encounter: out-of-place animals and plants, traders, tourists, poachers, and forest guards. How Batek people voice their experiences of the good and the strange in relation to these Others challenges essentialized notions of cultural and species difference and the separateness of ethical worlds.Drawing on meticulous, long-term ethnographic research with Batek people, Alice Rudge argues that as people seek to make habitable a constantly changing landscape, what counts as Otherness is always under negotiation. Anthropology’s traditional dictum to “make the strange familiar, and the familiar strange” creates a binary between the familiar and the Other, often encapsulating Indigenous lives as the archetypal Other to the “modern” worldview. Yet living well amid precarity involves constantly negotiating Otherness’s ambivalences, as people, plants, animals, and places can all become familiar, strange, or both. Sensing Others reveals that when looking from the boundary, what counts as Otherness is impossible to pin down.

Item Type: Authored Books
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
ISBN: 9781496235466
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2023 08:47
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/40355
Related URLs: https://www.neb ... /9781496235466/
Funders: Leverhulme Trust

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