Legacies of Violence: History, Society, and the State in Sardinia
Published: June 2015© 2015
232 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.68 in, 1 map
The inhabitants of highland Sardinia proudly declare a long history of resistance to outside authority. Many even celebrate the belief that “not even the Roman Empire reached this far.” Yet, since the late nineteenth century, the Italian government has pacified and integrated the mountain districts of the island into the state, often through the use of force.
In Legacies of Violence, Antonio Sorge examines local understandings of this past and the effects that a history of violence exercises on collective representations. This is particularly the case among the shepherds of the island, who claim to embody an ancient code of honour known as balentia that they allege to be uncorrupted by the values of mainstream Italian society. A perceptive ethnography of the mobilization of history in support of a way of life that is disappearing as the region’s inhabitants adopt a more mobile, cosmopolitan, and urbane lifestyle, Sorge’s work demonstrates how social memory continues to shape the present in the Sardinian highlands.
2. Landscape and History
3. On Barbarism
4. Anachronistic Men
5. Divergent Visions
6. Cohesion and Community
“Sorge’s Legacies of Violence is a model ethnography – historically deep, rich in nuance and texture, and theoretically informed. If you want to know how local identities – those associated with violence in this case – are created, how they are performed and maintained, even when their material basis is increasingly threadbare, this is the book for you. Relevant far beyond Sardinia.”James C. Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology; Co-Director, Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University
“Antonio Sorge’s book is a well-written, even lyrical, ethnography that raises important issues regarding the attempts of relatively remote people in modern or postmodern western society to cling to some of their presumed cultural distinctiveness.”David Kertzer, Professor of Anthropology and Italian Studies, Brown University; Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'The Pope and Mussolini'
“Legacies of Violence is a highly innovative work that makes a significant contribution to the debate on Mediterranean societies.”Christian Giordano, Chair of Social Anthropology, Université de Fribourg