The Society of the Absent

Engseng Ho

in The Graves of Tarim

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780520244535
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938694 | DOI:
The Society of the Absent

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This chapter discusses the importance of the place of death to a society of migrants. It explains that unlike other individuals who claim entitlement issuing from place of birth, the place of death is more important for migrants because it often becomes the site of burial and it is the tombstones abroad that acknowledge the shift in allegiance that migrants take whole lifetimes or more to come to terms with. The chapter suggests that a gravestone is a sign whose silent presence marks an absence and that the idea of a grave comprehends the many experiences of migration much better than that of globalization.

Keywords: place of death; migrants; site of burial; tombstones; gravestone; globalization

Chapter.  9391 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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