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Harnessing FortunePersonhood, Memory and Place in Mongolia$
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Rebecca M. Empson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264737

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264737.001.0001

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The Generative Potential of Movement

The Generative Potential of Movement

(p.316) (p.317) 9 The Generative Potential of Movement
Harnessing Fortune

Rebecca M. Empson

British Academy

This chapter reflects on the distinction between naturalist ontologies of growth and those found in the Mongolian concept of fortune. A review of these ideas in relation to the ethnography suggests that previous distinctions, which have usually been considered as distinct modes or ways of being — such as ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’, or ‘agnatic’ and ‘consanguineal’ — should instead be viewed as instantiations of a wider archetype for perspectival traffic. By focusing on the transformations afforded when parts are extracted from people, animals, and things and then contained, or housed, to allow for growth and generation, we see that these distinctions are always internal. In shifting between them, fortune is harnessed and growth is made visible.

Keywords:   growth, ethnography, fortune, generation

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