Fascinating in its combination of personal stories and analytical insights, Some Trouble with Cows
will help students of conflict understand how a seemingly irrational and archaic riot becomes a means for renegotiating the distribution of power and rights in a small community.
Using first-person accounts of Hindus and Muslims in a remote Bangladeshi village, Beth Roy evocatively describes and analyzes a large-scale riot that profoundly altered life in the area in the 1950s. She provides a rare glimpse into the hearts and minds of the participants and their families, while touching on a range of broader issues that are vital to the sociology of communities in conflict: the changing meaning of community; the impact of the state on local society; the nature of memory; and the force of neighborly enmity in reshaping power relationships during periods of change.
Roy's findings illustrate important theoretical issues in psychology and sociology, and her conclusions will greatly interest students of ethnic/race relations, conflict resolution, the sociology of violence, agrarian society, and South Asia.