Breaking the Ashes: The Culture of Illicit Liquor in Sri Lanka-Michele Ruth Gamburd

  • Title: Breaking the Ashes: The Culture of Illicit Liquor in Sri Lanka
  • Author: Michele Ruth Gamburd
  • Released: 2008-10-16
  • Language:
  • Pages: 280
  • ISBN: 0801446600
  • ISBN13: 978-0801446603
  • ASIN: 0801446600



"An incredible illustration of the many strengths of qualitative social research, this volume explores holistically a topic that, in theory, shouldn't exist—moonshine, its uses, meanings, and outcomes in a Buddhist village. And it does so in great descriptive detail, making real people and events come alive with humanistic sensitivity and even some salient cross-cultural comparisons. Breaking the Ashes is both outstanding ethnography and a novel and significant contribution to alcohol studies."—Dwight Heath, Brown University

"Breaking the Ashes is a fine and remarkable ethnography; it is well written and richly detailed. It covers the contrast between jolly drinking and problem drinking. Michele Ruth Gamburd addresses the gendered structure of consumption, from the political economy of illicit alcohol production to the balanced reciprocity and bonds of friendship in the exchanges of local drinkers, from the biomedical discourse on alcoholism as a disease to an ethnomedical ideology of alcohol dependence and community-based interventions. The people whose stories are told here range from tricksters who escape arrest in police raids and taverns and those unfortunate drunks whose decisions cost them their lives. I recommend this very interesting work highly, both as an addition to a research library and for its excellent potential as a text to be taught in the classroom."—David Suggs, Kenyon College

"In her original and sometimes playful ethnography of drinking, Michele Ruth Gamburd analyzes male cameraderie, the shaping of social networks, and the specific social space created by the drunkard. Gamburd both reflects on the Euro-American notion of personhood and Sinhalese cultural values regarding the loss of control."—Carla Risseeuw, University of Leiden

About the Author Michele Ruth Gamburd is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Portland State University. She is the author of The Kitchen Spoon's Handle, also from Cornell. pdf
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