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Ismaʿili ModernGlobalization and Identity in a Muslim Community$
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Jonah Steinberg

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834077

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807899458_steinberg

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Into the Fold: Himalayan Borderlands and Ismaʿili Modernity

Into the Fold: Himalayan Borderlands and Ismaʿili Modernity

(p.107) Chapter Four Into the Fold: Himalayan Borderlands and Ismaʿili Modernity
Ismaʿili Modern

Jonah Steinberg

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter shifts its perspective from the institutions themselves to their more complex cultural contexts: to the localities they inhabit, the moments they effect, and the subjects they engage. Getting a grasp of the institutions is a much simpler task than discerning their meaning in lives and localities. Isma'ili globality, however, must be situated in the context of personal experience and rendered meaningful through the lens of local cultures; abstracted from contestation and interpretation, from aspiration and ambition, from pleasure and desire, we are left only with the work of the powerful and the affluent, and we cannot make sense of the varied and polycentric landscapes of transnational space. The historical and social dynamics of such a vast phenomenon must be illuminated through the intimate lens of individual lives, of subjects' own stories.

Keywords:   complex cultural contexts, institutions, Isma'ili globality, personal experience, local cultures

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