S y m p o s i u m : Pe a c e b y O t he r Me a ns, Pa r t 3PRACTICING HARMONY IDEOLOGYEthnographic Reflections on Community and CoercionJudith Beyer and Felix GirkeWhat is harmony? Understood less controversially with regard to its role inmusic, harmony as a concept has been applied to social dynamics since the earlydays of anthropological and sociological inquiry. It has been twenty- five yearssince the legal anthropologist Laura Nader, in discussing “justice and control ina Zapotec mountain village,” introduced the term harmony ideology, suggestingthat the ideal of social harmony is often used to justify coercion.1 As she made herpoint in the title of an article published in 2001, “harmony coerced is freedomdenied.”2 The hermeneutics of suspicion is well established in anthropology asin many other disciplines, and so are the arguments against it. Nader’s concepthas been and remains both valid and valuable, and we would like to build upon ithere by raising unanswered and in some cases unasked questions about the natureand practice of coercion within communities. Our own ethnographic material,Research for both authors’ contributions was financedby the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology inHalle, Germany, where an earlier version of this material was presented orally at the Anthropological Workshop. Judith Beyer’s research was financed as well by theVolkswagen Foundation. The authors wish to thank EllenHertz, who chaired their presentation, and the audiencefor their comments, as well as Jeffrey Perl for his carefulediting.Common Knowledge 21:2DOI 10.1215/0961754X-2872343 2015 by Duke University Press1961. Laura Nader, Harmony Ideology: Justice and Control in aZapotec Mountain Village (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1990).2. Laura Nader, “Harmony Coerced Is Freedom Denied,”in Anthropologists in the Public Sphere: Speaking Out on War,Peace, and American Power, ed. Roberto J. González (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004): 252 – 55 (originallypublished in Chronicle of Higher Education, July 13, 2001).
a condition in which all parts of the social system work together witha sufficient degree of harmony or internal consistency, i.e., withoutproducing persistent conflicts which can neither be resolved nor regulated. This idea of the functional unity of a social system is, of course,a hypothesis. But it is one which, to the functionalist, it seems worthwhile to test by systematic examination of the facts.3From this perspective, harmony is an ingredient that keeps the parts of a system running smoothly. The interest lies in understanding how the structures3. A. R. Radcliffe- Brown, “On the Concept of Functionin Social Science,” American Anthropologist 37, no. 3 (July- September 1935): 397.197Peace by Other Means: Par t 3 B e y e r a n d Gi r k efrom fieldwork in northern Kyrgyzstan and southern Ethiopia, is susceptible toexamination through Nader’s methodological lens, and our doing so has led usto conclude that the concepts of social harmony and harmony ideology should bereconsidered from the perspective of praxis, rather than of theory.Harmony speaks to the most basic questions in the study of society, evento the fundamental issue of its very possibility and persistence. But for all thissense of relevance, and perhaps exacerbated by its strong link to intangibles likemusic, the term defies easy definition when applied to social order. How do werecognize harmony? Who is qualified to identify it—the observing scholar, orthe people living in putative harmony? Is harmony a result of social action, or isit a basis, a structural condition, of our communal being in the world? Howeversuch questions are answered, harmony is generally understood as fundamentallypositive and as an asymptotic aim. There are also methodological questions forthe scholar to answer: Can an individual alone be said to live in harmony, forexample, or (in keeping with the musical metaphor) do a certain number of elements need to be in tune with one another? For anthropologists interested insocial cohesion and well- being in various settings the world over—or interested,for that matter, in conflict and disruption—dealing with these issues demandsreflection on each scale where the term harmony might be applied. Given thesemantic and even philosophical uncertainties, to say nothing of the rather dubious empirical status of harmony, it pays to look back into the disciplinary pastwhere social harmony has been a recurring concern. Overall, it seems that—fromthe heyday of A. R. Radcliffe- Brown and early British structural functionalism,to that of Ralf Dahrendorf and the “Manchester school,” to the present time—adisciplinary pendulum swings back and forth, between a focus on and preference for integration and harmony and a focus on conflict and disintegration.Our survey here of these periodic swings will be brief and evocative, rather thanexhaustive.Radcliffe- Brown in the 1930s defined “functional unity” as
198C ommo n K n o w l edgeof society function to perpetuate it. Anthony Wallace’s model of “revitalization”(first proposed in 1956) similarly deals with how to compare and analyze religious movements across continents, making “use of an organismic analogy” andproposing “revitalization movements as a process of equilibrium restoration thatmay be applied to any society, whatever the source of the failure of harmony andthe rise of anomie.”4 This metaphorical model apparently takes “equilibrium”to be the normal state of society, with failures of harmony understood as bothsymptoms and causes of crises. During the 1950s and 1960s, harmony was rarelyinvestigated as such by anthropologists working in colonial and early postcolonial contexts but was rather taken as a commonsensical or at least unproblematicissue for theorists. Meyer Fortes, for example, conceived of “amity” as a principlecentral to upholding any social order as “automatically and inescapably binding.”5According to Mary Schweitzer, these anthropologists, rather than reflecting ontheir use of the term harmony and its implications, “were predisposed to acceptharmony as the standard of measure.”6Radcliffe- Brown had been frank that his understanding of functional unityas dependent on harmony between the parts of a social system had been only an“idea,” a “hypothesis” good to think with—and not long after his idea began tocirculate among ethnographers, a shift within anthropology (and to a degree,sociology) replaced the interest in equilibrium and harmony with a predilectionfor thinking of social systems in terms of conflict. Ralf Dahrendorf deemed harmony merely “one of the factors adduced to account for utopian stability” andargued instead for a focus on the centrifugal (rather than the centripetal) forcesacting upon society:7Strictly speaking, it does not matter whether we select for investigation problems that can be understood only in terms of the equilibriummodel or problems for the explanation of which the conflict model isrequired. There is no intrinsic criterion for preferring one to the other.My own feeling is, however, that, in the face of recent developmentsin our discipline . . . we may be well advised to concentrate in thefuture not only on concrete problems but on such problems as involveexplanations in terms of constraint, conflict, and change. This secondface of society may aesthetically be rather less pleasing than the socialsystem—but, if all that sociology had to offer were an easy escape toutopian tranquillity, it would hardly be worth our efforts.84. Anthony Wallace, foreword to Reassessing RevitalizationMovements: Perspectives from North America and the PacificIslands, ed. Michael E. Harkin (Lincoln: University ofNebraska Press, 2004), viii.6. Mary Schweitzer, “Harmony Ideology Works at theMill,” in Anthropological Contributions to Conflict Resolution,ed. Alvin W. Wolfe and Honggang Yang (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996), 120.5. S. C. Humphreys, review of Kinship and the Social Order:The Legacy of Lewis Henry Morgan, by Meyer Fortes, Comparative Studies in Society and History 14, no. 1 ( January1972): 127.7. Ralf Dahrendorf, “Out of Utopia: Toward a Reorientation of Sociological Analysis,” American Journal of Sociology 64, no. 2 (1958): 116.8. Dahrendorf, “Out of Utopia,” 127.
9. See Max Gluckman, Custom and Conflict in Africa(Oxford: Blackwell, 1955); Victor Turner, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti- s tructure (New York: Aldine deDeGruyter, 1995); and Fredrick George Bailey, Stratagemsand Spoils: A Social Anthropology of Politics (Oxford: Blackwell, 1969). For overviews, see Richard P. Werbner, “TheManchester School in South- C entral Africa,” AnnualReview of Anthropology 13 (October 1984): 157 – 85, andT. M. S. Evens and Don Handelman, The ManchesterSchool: Practice and Ethnographic Praxis in Anthropology(New York: Berghahn, 2006).199Peace by Other Means: Par t 3 B e y e r a n d Gi r k eThe “second face of society” of which Dahrendorf wrote in the late 1950shad a decided effect on the thinking of even Radcliffe- Brown’s successors. For atime, what became interesting to anthropologists were situations in which peopleor even whole societies sang out of tune, and so the earlier interest in equilibriumand its maintenance was scornfully rejected. Partly this reaction was due to thecolonial (and thus often violently pacified) contexts in which many ethnologistsof the earlier paradigm had worked.This shift marked a great advance in the field, as it stimulated considerations of the role of individuals as politically positioned actors. Much of the newthinking came more or less out of Max Gluckman’s “Manchester school” of political anthropology, which introduced the “extended case method” for the study ofconflict. Victor Turner’s model of the “social drama” originated in this context,as did F. G. Bailey’s “toolkit” for manipulative actors and their strategies.9 Still, itwas typical in these approaches that the interpretive monopoly lay with the analyzing scholar: it was the researcher and not the informants who decided whetherto emphasize harmony or disharmony, not only as the relevant frame for a givenstudy but also as the way in which the people studied were to be characterized inthe monograph devoted to them. Another theoretical fashion of the time, structuralism, left very little agency with its subjects, who were regarded as unawareof the structures that ordered their everyday life.10 Put differently, harmony, fora structuralist ethnographer, was nothing that people could have reflected upon,since they were subjected to it by the “deep grammar” of their social system. ButClaude Lévi- Strauss himself was looking for harmony: structuralism, he wrote,is “the search for unsuspected harmonies,” and it was in myths that he sought tofind them.11 The practitioners of all these early approaches took on an outsider’spoint of view, assuming an etic rather than emic stance toward social dynamics:the viewpoints of those studied either did not matter or were thought to be fundamentally distorted by cultural false consciousness.In the mid- 1970s, Jeremy Boissevain, who was part of Gluckman’s Manchester school, came to the conclusion that “structural- functionalism with itsconservative accent on harmony, rebellion (in place of revolution), balancedopposition and the functional interdependence of all institutions, is patentlyunable to explain and cope with the rush of events.”12 This “rush of events”—the10. See Claude Lévi- Strauss, The Elementary Structures ofKinship, rev. ed., trans. James Harle Bell and John Richardvon Sturmer (Boston: Beacon Press, 1969), and Myth andMeaning: Five Talks for Radio (1978; repr., London: Routledge, 2001).11. As cited in Eugene N. Hayes and Tanya Hayes, ClaudeLévi- Strauss: The Anthropologist as Hero (Cambridge, MA:MIT Press, 1970), 4.12. Jeremy Boissevain, “Towards a Sociology of SocialAnthropology,” Theory and Society 1, no. 2 (1974): 225.
20 0C ommo n K n o w l edgeconcrete situation as experienced by the anthropologist during fieldwork, withits spontaneous dynamics, its attendant emotions, and the clear evidence it presents of individual agency—came to the forefront of political anthropology andremained there for a good while. As late as 1995, Elizabeth Colson criticizedwhat she saw as overemphasis on the resolution of disputes in anthropology andon the (re)establishing of social harmony, when most conflicts, she argued, eitherlinger on in their original forms or, without being resolved, are transposed ordisplaced.13 Meanwhile, conflict theorists argued that conflicts are integral tosociety and began to analyze them as, in their own right, preexisting systems ofcommunication into which the actors themselves are integrated.14It was during this swing of the pendulum that Laura Nader introducedthe term harmony ideology.15 Her use of the two words in conjunction was amongthe first attempts explicitly to locate the concern with harmony from the actors’perspective. But Nader’s concept, while known and employed by other anthropologists, never colonized the whole field, so questions regarding harmonyideology were kept apart from the conceptual categories and approaches topraxis—focusing on process, agency, and creativity—that anthropologists hadbegun developing in the 1980s.16 In other words, harmony ideology fell off thedisciplinary bandwagon because it was associated in anthropologists’ mindsexclusively with the equilibrium model of structural- f unctionalism. But, asF. G. Bailey has shown, even structural- f unctionalism was less unequivocal andadamant than its opponents supposed: it was only the ambition for anthropologyto be counted among the sciences, albeit combined with a commitment to moralrelativism, that led the structural- f unctionalists to conceive of equilibrium as anatural state, rather than a moral demand:13. Elizabeth Colson, “The Contentiousness of Disputes,” in Understanding Disputes: The Politics of Argument,ed. Patricia Caplan (Oxford: Berg, 1995), 65–82.14. See Georg Elwert, Stephan Feuchtwang, and DieterNeubert, eds., Dynamics of Violence: Processes of Escalation and De- escalation in Violent Group Conflicts (Berlin:Duncker and Humblot, 1999). See also Günther Schlee,“Taking Sides and Constructing Identities: Reflectionson Conflict Theory,” Journal of the Royal AnthropologicalInstitute 10, no. 1 (March 2004): 135–56, and How EnemiesAre Made: Towards a Theory of Ethnic and Religious Conflict(Oxford: Berghahn, 2008).15. Laura Nader, “Harmony Models and the Construction of Law,” in Conflict Resolution: Cross- Cultural Perspectives, ed. Kevin Avruch, Peter W. Black, and Joseph AScimecca (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1991), 41–59,and “Harmony Models and the Construction of Law,” inThe Conflict and Culture Reader, ed. Pat K. Chew (NewYork: New York University Press, 2001): 38–44.16. See Jeffrey Sacks and Harold Garfinkel, “On Formal Structures of Practical Action,” in Theoretical Sociology, ed. John McKinney and Edward A. Tiryakian (NewYork: Appleton- Century- Crofts, 1970), 338–66; MichaelLynch, Scientific Practice and Ordinary Action: Ethnomethodology and Social Studies of Science (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press, 1993); Theodore R. Schatzki, SocialPractices: A Wittgensteinian Approach to Human Activity andthe Social (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996);Schatzki, Karin Knorr- Cetina, and Eike von Savigny,eds., The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory (London:Routledge, 2001); Andreas Reckwitz, “Toward a Theoryof Social Practices: A Development in Culturalist Theorizing,” European Journal of Social Theory 5 (2002): 243–63;and Alan Warde, “Consumption and Theories of Practice,” Journal of Consumer Culture 5 (2005): 131–53.
17. F. G. Bailey, The Saving Lie: Truth and Method in theSocial Sciences (Philadelphia: University of PennsylvaniaPress, 2003), 70–71.18. See Roger M. Keesing, “Anthropology as Interpretive Quest,” Current Anthropology 28, no. 2 (1987): 161–76,and Thomas Kirsch, “Discordance through Consensus:Unintended Consequences of the Quest for Consensuality in Zambian Religious Life,” Journal of Southern AfricanStudies 40, no. 5 (August 2014): 1015–30.19. See, for instance, Geert De Neve, Peter Luetchford,Jeffrey Pratt, and Donald Wood, eds., Hidden Hands in theMarket: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption,and Corporate Social Responsibility (Bingley, UK: EmeraldJAI Press, 2008).20. See Daniel M. Goldstein, “Security and the CultureExpert: Dilemmas of an Engaged Anthropology,” PoLAR201Peace by Other Means: Par t 3 Bailey not only repairs some reputations here but shows as well that the studyof harmony and its penumbra of related concepts got off to an unfortunate startby misguidedly separating concern with social harmony from concern with itspractitioners.Ideology should not be thought of as abstract discourse; ideology is a practice. While it is certainly easier to identify a social situation as conflictual thanas harmonious, the difficulty of the latter is reduced when harmony is analyzedas an ideological practice in its own right. Rather than take that step, recentstudies on the patterning of social action have been focusing on what could beconsidered alternative approaches to nonconflictual social practice: “consensuality,”18 “corporate social responsibility,”19 “security,”20 and “punctuated cooperation”21 are topics that are explored instead. Harmony per se does not feature inthese approaches. It has maintained a reputation, by and large as Dahrendorf hadportrayed it, as a utopian and idealist fantasy. Formulations such as the “myth ofcommunity harmony,” the “appearance of harmony,” or the “gloss of harmony”abound.22 The exploration of harmony ideology as a practice is neglected orexcluded. Even if harmony has become tainted as an etic concept for anthropology, why should its fate as an emic concept have followed suit? Conceptions thatcan be said to correspond to the English word harmony are hardly uncommon,B e y e r a n d Gi r k eOne can model social equilibrium as a natural phenomenon, void ofcontent and nothing more than a steady state, but only by doing whatthe neoclassical economists do, which is to depersonalize the situationentirely, strip it of its cultural content and thus of its institutions, and somodel society as a natural system. Some of the structural functionalistsfound it difficult to abandon that ideal, and in their writings . . . theline dividing a natural equilibrium from one that was intended (a moralorder) was not always clear.1733, no. 1 (2008): 126 – 42, and Mark Maguire, CatarinaFrois, and Nils Zurawski, eds., The Anthropology of Security: Perspectives from the Frontline of Policing, Counter- terrorism, and Border Control (London: Pluto Press, 2014).21. See Hendrik Vollmer, The Sociology of Disruption,Disaster, and Social Change: Punctuated Cooperation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).22. See Judith Strauch, “National Politics at the VillageLevel: Paradoxical Perspectives on Chinese- M alaysian‘Factionalism’,” American Ethnologist 10, no. 1 (1983): 52;Marjorie Harness Goodwin, “ ‘Instigating’: Storytellingas Social Process,” in American Ethnologist 9, no. 4 (1982):803; and Birgit Müller, ed., The Gloss of Harmony: The Politics of Policy- Making in Multilateral Organisations (London:Pluto Press, 2013).
202C ommo n K n o w l edgeand the maintenance of harmony analogues—as we will show in case studies ofvery different groups, living respectively in northern Kyrgyzstan and southernEthiopia—is a common concern of people everywhere. Our examples will illustrate how harmony ideology is not only a diagnosis, delivered by the scholar, of akind of social coercion; it is also sometimes a solution for people unable properlyto redress grievances and identify “wrongdoers” without fear of endangering thesocial whole.Nader’s Harmony Ideology:Counterhegemonic Strategy and Alternative Dispute ResolutionThe question for which Nader’s concept of harmony ideology was developedas the answer was particular, rather than theoretical: Why, she asked, “do theTalean Zapotec litigate so frequently in comparison with other American Indiangroups?”23 Tale is a Zapotec village in southern Mexico, and Nader had set outto study the villagers’ apparent preference, when resorting to the village courts,for settling disputes through compromise and reconciliation. The social outcome of a case, rather than the decision rendered by the court, was consideredmost important. But while the desired result of everyone involved was harmony,the much- sought- after compromise was not always a result of mutual concessions. It was the judge, rather than the litigants, who decided where consensuslay: “Taleans are active in asserting themselves to find remedies for wrongs, andtheir judges are active in articulating a harmony model for dispute resolution.”24Nader argued that Talean social organization was based on hierarchy (command),symmetry, and cross- linkage, which in the daily round served to stratify, level orequalize, and integrate the village. Here, harmony ideology refers to local rhetoric, but rhetoric that is juxtaposed with an outside force, usually the “state.” Bymaintaining the appearance of harmony, so Nader argued, villagers prevented theMexican government from interfering in their relative autonomy. Another reasonthat Taleans preferred village courts over state courts or claimed to like “a badcompromise more than a good fight” was that they perceived appealing to statecourts as too costly and unpredictable.In Nader’s understanding, harmony ideology is the result of adjudicationas promoted by colonial powers. The proverb about the superiority of bad compromises, for example, was originally a Spanish adage that the Taleans now claimto be their own.25 Nader argues that the Zapotec learned harmony ideology asa form of social regulation from the practices of Christian missionaries priorto and during colonization. Nowadays, Talean villagers have political purposes23. Nader, Harmony Ideology, 1.24. Nader, Harmony Ideology, 318.25. See Laura Nader, “Controlling Processes: Tracingthe Dynamic Components of Power,” Current Anthropology 38, no. 5 (December 1997): 713.
When I looked at legal reform in the United States, I also found harmony being used as a control, this time by the powerful. In the 1970s,something called alternative dispute resolution was born. It was areform movement in response to the new cases (proponents of themovement called them “garbage cases”) that were entering the courtsafter the social turmoil of the 1960s—cases about civil rights, environmental and consumer rights, Native American and gender issues, and soforth. The movement favored compromise over adversarial procedures,harmony over social justice. Its mandatory mediation and binding arbitration cost us our right to sue. It was a war against the contentious. . . .Coercive harmony has often accompanied large- scale social movements, including Western colonialism, Christian missionary work, andglobalization.29203Peace by Other Means: Par t 3 B e y e r a n d Gi r k efor their invocations of harmony, so that “harmony ideology” refers both to “arequirement of conquest” and to “a counterhegemonic response to more thanfive hundred years of dealing with colonization.”26 In the case of court officials,on whom Nader focused in her 1990 book, “the core of harmony style and theassociated ideology facilitate internal governance and serve to manage problemsstemming from conquest and domination.”27In a different usage, Nader applied the concept of harmony ideology toAmerican alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which developed beginning inthe 1960s. She came to see ADR as a symptom of a larger global phenomenon,namely, a shift of legal systems away “from a concern with justice to a concernwith harmony and efficiency, and from a concern with right and wrong to a concern with therapeutic treatment.”28 Whether applied to Zapotec or to Americancourts, harmony ideology is for her a mechanism of control:Nader found that the ideology of equality in the United States had led todenial that some Americans were more powerful than others, with the resultthat people, as Sally Engle Merry paraphrased Nader’s conclusion, were “gettingalong rather than getting justice through the rule of law.”30 Nader points outthe irony here in terms of modernity, development, and the export of models ofgovernance: “Once the ‘primitives’ had courts” like North Americans, lawyersand litigants in the United States came to value ADR and negotiations as more“civilized” than courtroom trials.3126. Laura Nader, ed., The Life of the Law: AnthropologicalProjects (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002),29.27. Nader, Harmony Ideology, 318.28. Nader, Life of the Law, 139.29. Nader, “Harmony Coerced,” 253–54.30. Sally Engle Merry, “Moving beyond Ideology Critique to the Analysis of Practice: Comment on ‘Illusionsand Delusions about Conflict Management — in Africaand Elsewhere’ by Laura Nader and Elisabetta Grande,”Law and Social Inquiry 27, no. 3 (2002): 609.31. Nader, “Controlling Processes,” 715; Nader, Life of theLaw, 151.
20 4C ommo n K n o w l edgeIn her various publications on the topic, Nader eventually came to differentiate “genuine” or “organic” harmony as a cultural norm and value from“coercive” harmony, understood as “the selling of a political idea, namely communitarianism: favoring the traditional family, moral instruction in school, andcrime control policies that would limit some of our rights.”32 From this perspective, harmony ideology is a way to “colonize the mind” by means of impersonal,embedded, and often invisible hegemony33—shades of Foucauldian “governmentality.”34 Cultural control, according to Nader, is powerful because its processescome to be regarded as natural over time: harmony is viewed as “the naturalorder of things.”35 For Nader, “the rhetoric of harmony” (as she came to callit, in a jointly authored article with Elisabetta Grande) is deceptive but powerful.36 Bailey’s reflections on the tension between natural and moral orders inthe understanding of society are relevant here, and it seems that this problemis one not only for structural- functionalists but also for the Zapotec and otherpeoples as a whole. Ethnography, for Nader, is in essence “a form of knowledgethat connects humans rather than divides them.”37 By comparing case materials,she has sought to illuminate what is specific to a local context and what could beviewed as commonalities.38 She has argued, moreover, that it is through comparison that anthropologists “keep themselves uncomfortable about what might betaken for granted.”39 The ethnographic case studies that follow here are meantto substantiate our claim that Nader’s harmony ideology has true comparativepotential and, conceivably, universal relevance as well. In both our field sites, wefound instances of harmony ideology in both of the two senses favored by her: asa counterhegemonic strategy and as an alternative means of dispute resolution.National Politics and Wise Elders in KyrgyzstanBeyer’s field site is located in the northern part of the Central Asian Republicof Kyrgyzstan, in Talas province (Fig. 1). Over 80 percent of the population inTalas resides in small villages of two thousand to four thousand inhabitants. Mostpeople live on their animals and on what they can grow in the fields and in the32. Nader, “Controlling Processes,” 734.33. See Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, trans. and ed. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey NowellSmith (New York: International Publishers, 1971).34. See Michel Foucault, The Government of Self and Others: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1982–83 (Basingstoke,UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).35. Nader, “Controlling Processes,” 722.36. Laura Nader and Elisabetta Grande, “Current Illusions and Delusions about Conflict Management in Africaand Elsewhere,” Law and Social Inquiry 27, no. 3 (2002):631–33.37. Laura Nader, Culture and Dignity: Dialogues betweenthe Middle East and the West (Chichester, UK: Wiley- Blackwell, 2013), 76.38. See, for example, Laura Nader and Duane Metzger,“Conflict Resolution in Two Mexican Communities,”American Anthropologist 65, no. 3 (June 1963): 584–92, and“Choices in Legal Procedure: Shia Moslem and MexicanZapotec,” American Anthropologist 67, no. 2 (1965): 394–99.39. Nader, Harmony Ideology, 59–60.
20 5Peace by Other Means: Par t 3 gardens behind their houses. While they keep chicken and geese in yards, sheep,cows, goats, and horses are sent to the pastures during the summer months.Although animal husbandry is largely on the increase, only very few Kyrgyzpeople at present manage to make a living exclusively on breeding sheep andhorses. In Talas, a family will own an average of fifteen sheep, one or two cows,and a horse or donkey. After having been portrayed as “backward” during Soviettimes, the possession of animals and the activity of transhumance today carrya positive valence, since they indicate wealth and also since pastoralism is nowcherished as an expression of “authentic” Kyrgyz culture.Beyer’s fieldwork took place from spring 2005 until fall 2006 (with follow- upfieldwork during 2008 and 2010), in two neighboring villages that had been setup during early Soviet times and were later collectivized into a joint kolkhoz. Villagers living in the two locations share not only a political and economic historybut also common ancestry. Residents of the upper village and the west part ofthe lower village belong to the same lineage group (uruu), whereas those on theeast side of the lower village trace their origin to another ancestor.40 Marriagesare exogamous and uxorilocal. Elaborate life- cycle rituals, particularly marriagesand funerals, accompany everyday life—and it was in such contexts that Beyerheard the invocation of “harmony” for the first time. The imperative Yntymakkerek! (We need harmony!) wa
Halle, Germany, where an earlier version of this mate-rial was presented orally at the Anthropological Work-shop. Judith Beyer’s research was financed as well by the . conservative accent on harmony, rebellion (in place of revolution), balanced . Kinship, rev. ed., trans. James Harle Be