Burmese Lives: Ordinary Life Stories Under the Burmese Regime

ISBN : 9780199335046

Eric Tagliacozzo; Wen-Chin Chang
288 ページ
157 x 234 mm

This volume explores the life stories of ordinary Burmese by drawing on the narratives of individual subjects and using an array of interdisciplinary approaches, covering anthropology, history, literature, ethnomusicology, economics and political science. Burma is one of the most diverse societies in Southeast Asia in terms of its ethnic composition. It has a long history of resistance from the public realm against colonial rule and post-independence regimes. However, its isolation for decades before 1988 deprived scholars of a close look into the many faces of this society. Looking into the life stories of members of several major ethnic communities, who hail from different occupations and are of different ages and genders, this book has a particular significance that would help reveal the multiplicities of Burma's modern history. The authors of this volume write about stories of their long-term informants, close friends, family members, or even themselves to bring out a wide range of issues relating to migration, economy, politics, religion and culture. The constituted stories jointly highlight the protagonists' survival strategies in everyday life that demonstrate their constant courage, pain and frustration in dealing with numerous social injustices and adversities. Through these stories, we see movement of lives as well as that of Burmese society.


Eric Tagliacozzo and Wen-Chin Chang
Introduction: Burmese Lives in a Divided State
I. The Specter of Hardship
1. Mandy Sadan
The Extra-ordinariness of Ordinary Lives
2. Pascal Khoo-Thwe
The Kayan Padaung Community in Pekhon, Southern Shan State, Burma
II. Negotiating with the State
3 Benedicte Brac de la Perriere
A Woman of Mediation
4 Eric Tagliacozzo
Burmese and Muslim: Islam and the Hajj in the Sangha State
III. Ways of Escape
5. Hsin-chun Tasaw Lu
Recounting, Resistance, and Reflection: An Analysis of a Burmese Classical Musician's Narrative
6. James Scott
Dr. U Tin Win, Escape Artist
IV. At Burma's Margins
7. Maxime Boutry
The Maung Aye's Legacy: Burmese and Moken Encounters in the Southern Borderlands of Myanmar, 1987-2007
8. Wen-Chin Chang
By Sea and by Land: Stories of Two Chinese Traders
V. Ethnicity and the Self
9. Ma Thida
A Mixed Identity, a Mixed Career
10. Karin Eberhardt
At the Community's Service: A Transformational Life
11 Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung
From the " to the " Karen: Looking at Burma's Post-Independent Eras through the Life of Maung Sin Kye


Wen-Chin Chang is Associate Research Fellow at the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan. She is a native of Tainan, Taiwan and a PhD graduate of the University of Leuven Belgium. Eric Tagliacozzo is Professor of History at Cornell University, and a PhD graduate of Yale University. Both have been working in Southeast Asian Studies for some two decades.