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Title: Imperceptible naked-lives and atrocities : forcibly displaced peoples and the Thai-Burmese in-between spaces 
Author: Tangseefa, Decha
Date: 2003
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: This study follows the becomingness of the Karens: as an indigenous people, as an ethnic nationality, as an ethnic minority, and as a forcibly displaced people. The questions that guide this dissertation are: What is it like to be forcibly displaced beings, taking flight in, following Walter Benjamin, the real state of exception? How can the Karens transgress those grave conditions, and at what costs? Why has protecting them from the wrongs done to them been, by and large, impossible? Why have their struggles and sufferings not been adequately perceived? As political theory, the dissertation interweaves notions of violence, perceptibility, and protection. The study is also informed by the symbolic and experiential conditions of forcibly displaced Karens along the Thai-Burmese border zones. This study evinces four major issues: firstly, how Karens' forms-of-life have been stripped off and their nakedness revealed by the Burmese and Thai nation-states; secondly, how their struggles and sufferings have been imperceptible because the Karens have been rendered as unqualified political subjects and because we - the peoples who have adequate juridical protections - view the world only from state-centric paradigms, and only hear a single voice, i.e., the univocity of statist discourses; thirdly, how the paradox of perceptibility, where the very power that has attempted to render the Karens' sufferings imperceptible is, willingly or not, the same power that enables them to strengthen their form-of-life as a Karen nation; and, finally, how the forcibly displaced Karens' quotidian lives have not confirmed the glories of the Appadurian ethnoscape. They are not parts of the subjectivities who can freely move in this world. On the contrary, they have often been recognized as the parts that have no parts in the human community. They are "the exception" in motion whose lives have been under fire, dreaming passionately of becoming parts of the "general." They have dreamt to live such lives for more than half a century, ever since they officially started their "revolution" in 1948. One of the most important arguments, therefore, is that, as forcibly displaced peoples, the Karens are political subjects and not sheer facts of living.
Description: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 260-283). Mode of access: World Wide Web. Also available by subscription via World Wide Web xv, 283 leaves, bound 29 cm
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/3073
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.

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