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ANTH326 Meeting 4 (Final)

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Social structure

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ANTH326 Meeting 4 (Final)

  1. 1. ANTH326 Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa Meeting 4, October 1, 2007
  2. 2. Assignments <ul><li>Deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Marks </li></ul><ul><li>Grades </li></ul>
  3. 3. Past Factoids Stage <ul><li>Culture(s) </li></ul><ul><li>Mainstream cultural anthropology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expose to approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From field research </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will get more critical/analytical </li></ul>
  4. 4. Discussion <ul><li>Limited lecturing </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reassessing Africa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get on same page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Debates ok </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thoughtful disagreement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better discuss them online </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Unpacking issues <ul><li>Not rehash/summarise </li></ul><ul><li>Try to understand content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain (in own words) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Picking themes </li></ul>
  6. 6. Active Reading (Discussion Prompts) <ul><li>What struck you? </li></ul><ul><li>Critical perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Author’s approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arguments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Links with other texts </li></ul>
  7. 7. McCall <ul><li>African distinctiveness generalization vs. diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Community (larger than kinship) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Imagined Communities (Benedict Anderson) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Individual/group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Acribed/achieved status </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Group land ownership </li></ul>
  8. 8. Defining Cultural Groups <ul><li>“ Ethnic groups” («Ethnies») </li></ul><ul><li>“ Ethnology” of bounded entities? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Cultural traits” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal logic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Holism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fluid identity </li></ul>
  9. 9. Social Structure in General <ul><li>Sub-groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subcultures? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May be primary identity </li></ul><ul><li>Internal structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hierarchy (dominance) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stratification (social classes) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Egalitarianism </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Egalitarianism <ul><li>Non-State Societies </li></ul><ul><li>Small groups </li></ul><ul><li>Nomadic groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pastoralists (herders) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foragers (hunter-gatherers) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part of broader groups </li></ul>
  11. 11. Status <ul><li>Prestige </li></ul><ul><li>Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Power </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Political </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supernatural </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wealth </li></ul>
  12. 12. Occupation <ul><li>Recognisable (like blue/white collar) </li></ul><ul><li>Specialisation </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Identity </li></ul>
  13. 13. Craftspeople <ul><li>Occupational </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Griots </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blacksmiths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leatherworkers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ambiguous status </li></ul><ul><li>Power </li></ul><ul><li>Endogamy (marry within) </li></ul>
  14. 14. McCall 2 <ul><li>Intro, ethnography, place </li></ul><ul><li>Civic projects </li></ul><ul><li>Assimilation vs. flexibility (cultural change, acculturation, adaptation) </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency/appropriateness </li></ul>
  15. 15. McCall 3 <ul><li>Kinship/household/subsistence </li></ul><ul><li>Wealth/prestige </li></ul><ul><li>Gender and ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Matrilineality (sibblings…) </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of age </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coming of age </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Gender <ul><li>More next week </li></ul><ul><li>Roles </li></ul><ul><li>Status </li></ul><ul><li>Identity </li></ul><ul><li>Power </li></ul><ul><li>Matrilineality </li></ul><ul><li>Polygyny </li></ul>
  17. 17. Age <ul><li>Gerontocracy </li></ul><ul><li>Ancestors </li></ul><ul><li>Age sets and age grades </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiation societies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rites of passage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Oldboy” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate genders </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Secret societies <ul><li>Initiation societies </li></ul><ul><li>Muslim brotherhoods (sufism) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tijaniyya </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Freemasons </li></ul>
  19. 19. Voluntary Associations <ul><li>Social networks </li></ul><ul><li>Urban life </li></ul><ul><li>Local </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Ethnic“ </li></ul><ul><li>Cosmopolitan networks </li></ul><ul><li>Political parties </li></ul>
  20. 20. Westernization <ul><li>Cultural Contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coerced or voluntary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Western-like but typically African </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage change </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other partners </li></ul>
  21. 21. Education <ul><li>School types (Koranic, Missionary, National) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Formal education </li></ul><ul><li>“ Western-style” </li></ul><ul><li>Obsession with literacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Power of orality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><li>Generation gap </li></ul>
  22. 22. “ Afrosphere ” <ul><li>African-American bloggers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Could apply same concept to Africa? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online representation </li></ul><ul><li>Separate realities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Segregation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Worldviews </li></ul></ul>

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