Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria

Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria By Lisa Wedeen, In Syria, the image of President Hafiz al Asad is everywhere In newspapers, on television, and during orchestrated spectacles Asad is praised as the father, the gallant knight, even the country s premier pharmacist Yet most Syrians, including those who create the official rhetoric, do not believe its claims Why would a regime spend scarce resources on a cult whoseIn Syria, the image of President Hafiz al Asad is everywhere In newspapers, on television, and during orchestrated spectacles Asad is praised as the father, the gallant knight, even the country s premier pharmacist Yet most Syrians, including those who create the official rhetoric, do not believe its claims Why would a regime spend scarce resources on a cult whose content is patently spurious Wedeen concludes that Asad s cult acts as a disciplinary device, generating a politics of public dissimulation in which citizens act as if they revered their leader By inundating daily life with tired symbolism, the regime exercises a subtle, yet effective form of power The cult works to enforce obedience, induce complicity, isolate Syrians from one another, and set guidelines for public speech and behavior Wedeen s ethnographic research demonstrates how Syrians recognize the disciplinary aspects of the cult and seek to undermine them Provocative and original, Ambiguities of Domination is a significant contribution to comparative politics, political theory, and cultural studies.. Ambiguities of Domination Politics Rhetoric and Symbols in Contemporary Syria In Syria the image of President Hafiz al Asad is everywhere In newspapers on television and during orchestrated spectacles Asad is praised as the father the gallant knight even the country s prem

  • Title: Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria
  • Author: Lisa Wedeen
  • ISBN: 9780226877884
  • Page: 249
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria”

    1. I m only giving this book three stars, BUT it s a great read for anyone curious to learn about current politics in Syria.

    2. This was published in 1999, but there s a lot in it you can bring into what s been happening in Syria, or at least how it started Really fascinating analysis of resistance in culture and art and fascinatingly, though I don t think Wedeen intended this, it kind of shows to me how this resistance is kind of pointless difficult when under the framework of state cult rule Total bummer well written, engaging, and with really interesting illustrative examples that shows you what the cult and society w [...]

    3. Whenever I think about Syria, I understand it through the framework set up for me in this text Whenever I think about totalitarian cults of personality, I understand it through the framework set up for me in this text.

    4. Very interesting read relevant for understanding not only the Syrian conflict but also the current political environment in the states A bit heavy on the theory but relatable and relevant to anyone with a light understanding of Syria and or a critical eye for current political powers Worth your time if you re interested in the power of rhetoric symbols in politics but NOT a primer for the Syrian conflict or even Syrian history as a whole.

    5. This book argues that Asad s cult is a strategy of domination based on compliance rather than legitimacy The regime produces compliance through enforced participation in rituals of obeisance that are transparently phony both to those who orchestrate them and to those who consume them Asad s cult operates as a disciplinary device, generating a politics of public dissimulation in which citizens act as if they revere the leader A politics of as if while it may appear irrational or foolish at first [...]

    6. A very interesting look at the cult of Hafiz al Assad in Syria during the 1990s Calls up interesting questions about state control, censorship, and dissidence One has to ask what keeps the Syrian populace, who, by Wedeen s argument are almost universally opposed to Assad, in check Somehow the system of control exerted by the party has become a self perpetuating system Particularly liked Wedeen s look at humor, satire and parody to illustrate oppositional sentiment.Ultimately she doesn t satisfac [...]

    7. This book was given recommended by a friend which read the book during her middle eastern studies.The book is based on witnessed facts, that Syrians themselves were not able to distinguish during that time.I was laughing the whole time i was reading this book, due to a simple fact that these things were happening and I wasn t aware of them.The book is not 100% accurate nevertheless the book provided an insider view of Syria under strict authoritarian rule.Most importantly, this book emphasizes, [...]

    8. Fascinating read I read this for a course on professional historical study as well as for a class on Modern Syria both courses had than enough to talk about and on totally different subjects, for the entire 3 hour seminar Applicable to many different settings, and a very engaging read which is high praise for an academic work.

    9. Been a few years since I read this am itching to revisit it with my new nose and see how much of it is propaganda.

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