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Extra info for Bird Watching (Autumn 2015)
Mumby 1993: 3; for discussion of the relationship between life histories and postmodernism see also Singer 1997: 7 and Chamberlain 1997. 88. For example, Sivaramakrishnan and Agrawal 1998. 89. See Good 1994; Mattingly 1998; Kleinman 1988. 90 In choosing to structure this book around narratives I am also not pretending that this makes it any more ‘objective’. 91 Each of the elders’ accounts and comments have been chosen and edited by me, and each is used to put across my particular point of view.
They are also far from the only influences that shape the elders’ strategies, and choices for power relations at both the global and the domestic end of the continuum are also of central importance. The Politics of Hearing As has already been indicated, narratives are not told in a vacuum. Who hears one’s story and how that person reacts are key to both the form that the story takes and the results that it has. 106 Complaints, he suggests, are ways of criticizing the social order. They can thus be read as forms of resistance; but how they are heard, and the response of the listener, depend a great deal on who is hearing as well as who is making them.
But as I also argue, there is an important distinction between bodily and social dependency, and the experience of physical incapacitation is described in highly negative terms by those who have suffered strokes or other forms of disability. In Chapter 7 I analyse the sickness narratives of the elders and their carers in more detail. Drawing on the last part of Chapter 6, in which we see how narratives of the body may be used to comment on wider concerns, to complain and to lay claim to various forms of support, I argue that narratives concerning the onset of illness, which are often extraordinarily detailed, can be read as political and social critiques, in which the ideal social order is contrasted with reality.
Bird Watching (Autumn 2015)