Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Torture by cieng: Ethical theory meets social practice among the Dinka Ciec of South Sudan
by Deal, Jeffery Lee, M.A., University of South Carolina, 2009, 46; 1462446
Abstract (Summary)

The Dinka notion of cieng embodies sociocentric ideas, differentiating the good of the group from the good of the individual. Cieng has multivalent meanings among the Dinka Ciec that are expanded beyond that described among the Nuer. Within Dinka Ciec society, expressions of this ideal are both a sustainer of peace and unity as well as a justifier of torture and imprisonment of innocent individuals.

This work details the political realities of violence in South Sudan first by couching the discussion of a specific practice by the Dinka Ciec within existing discourses on the social aspects of violence and universal human rights in general, then by demonstrating with ethnographic witnessing the local expressions of violence and how these violent acts had meaning and purpose. I posit that the violence described was internally consistent with Dinka Ciec's concepts of justice and basic human rights and that it cannot be judged against any universal human rights standard devoid of local context or of an overarching metanarrative from which to make such a judgment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Leatherman, Thomas, Simmons, David
Commitee: Kasacoff, Alice, Leatherman, Thomas, Simmons, David
School: University of South Carolina
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- South Carolina
Source: MAI 47/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Forensic anthropology
Keywords: Dinka, Ethics, Sudan, Torture, War
Publication Number: 1462446
ISBN: 978-1-109-07799-5
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