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ANTH326 Meeting 9 (Draft)

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ANTH326 Meeting 9 (Draft)

  1. 1. ANTH326 Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa Meeting 9, November 5, 2007
  2. 2. Business <ul><li>Media Critique </li></ul><ul><li>Critical reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Journal </li></ul><ul><li>Blog entries </li></ul><ul><li>FIFEQ.ca (FFEM), November 15 </li></ul>
  3. 3. Last stretch <ul><li>Reached important point </li></ul><ul><li>Making links </li></ul><ul><li>Bring everything together </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure understand </li></ul><ul><li>Dangling issues </li></ul>
  4. 4. Southall and Ranger
  5. 5. Team 1
  6. 6. Team 2
  7. 7. Team 3
  8. 8. Team 4
  9. 9. British Social Anthropology <ul><li>Emeriti </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LSE (then Madison), Oxford </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nationalism, ethnicity, tribalism </li></ul><ul><li>Southeastern Africa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Southall on Uganda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ranger in Zimbabwe, Tanzania </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ranger’s Invention of Tradition with Hobsbawm, 1983 </li></ul>
  10. 10. Social Groups
  11. 11. Beyond Kinship <ul><li>Defining social groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solidarity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communitas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ethnicity as super-kinship </li></ul><ul><li>Kindreds (selected kins) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sodalities” (age sets) </li></ul><ul><li>Associations </li></ul>
  12. 12. 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>
  13. 13. 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>
  14. 14. Group Identity <ul><li>Identity as us/them </li></ul><ul><li>Constructed/created/invented </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiated/fluid/flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Leading to conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>Schisms and mergers </li></ul>
  15. 15. War and Peace <ul><li>War as “violent resolution of conflict” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Between groups (however defined) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Peace as “normal state of system” </li></ul><ul><li>Pacifist tendency among anthropologists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic and personal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pragmatic and principled </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. “ Traditional Africa”
  17. 17. Orality <ul><li>Verbal communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include sign languages, “body language” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exclude writing (but may include IM) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chain of direct transmission </li></ul><ul><li>Immediacy/instantaneity/simultaneity </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange/dialogue/back-and-forth </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-layered/multi-channel </li></ul>
  18. 18. “ Oral societies” <ul><li>“ Pre-literate?” </li></ul><ul><li>Writing as defining feature? </li></ul><ul><li>Functional literacy? </li></ul><ul><li>Writing systems often exist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coexistence oral/written </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. “ Tradition?” <ul><li>Static? </li></ul><ul><li>Old? </li></ul><ul><li>Genuine? </li></ul><ul><li>Conservative? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Tradition and Modernity <ul><li>Tradition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuity (perceived or real) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change (happening) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Modernity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discontinuity (with ancients) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change (perceived or real) </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Postmodernism (PoMo) <ul><li>Reaction to modernism </li></ul><ul><li>Implied historicity </li></ul><ul><li>Cross boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Deconstruct identities </li></ul><ul><li>Multiplicity of identities/viewpoints </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility/fluidity/informality/chaos </li></ul><ul><li>Recognise anything? </li></ul>
  22. 22. States
  23. 23. Defining States?
  24. 24. Characteristics of States <ul><li>Pre-/Post-Industrial </li></ul><ul><li>Centralisation </li></ul><ul><li>Boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Currency </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Formality </li></ul>
  25. 25. Southall Notes
  26. 26. Group Definition <ul><li>Glossonyms, ethnonyms </li></ul><ul><li>Colonial constructs (perhaps unwittingly) </li></ul><ul><li>Identity claims by use/explanation ethnonym </li></ul><ul><li>Define through contact/conflict </li></ul>
  27. 27. Tribe <ul><li>Defining characteristics: whole, autonomous, self-sufficient, subsistence strategy, low-tech, low-literacy, language, identity religion </li></ul><ul><li>Empirical foundation for tribe as: oral, low-tech, subsistence, kinship, multiplex </li></ul>
  28. 28. Tribe in Anthropology <ul><li>“ segmentary lineage systems with emphasis on genealogical reckoning” </li></ul><ul><li>Level (pseudo-evolutionary): band, tribe, chiefdom, state </li></ul><ul><li>Band also (even more so) fluid, flexible, casual </li></ul>
  29. 29. Tribal <ul><li>“ acephalous” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Tribal” associated with “primitive” </li></ul><ul><li>“ close identity (if it ever existed)” </li></ul><ul><li>Monolithic, static, bounded categories accepted by people (parallels) </li></ul><ul><li>Stateless, without discrete boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Continued significance of idea of tribe </li></ul><ul><li>Group nostalgia (act as if) </li></ul>
  30. 30. Southall on Anthropology <ul><li>Sahlins (now semi-accepted) </li></ul><ul><li>Critical overview of literature available at time </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty distinguish from chiefdom </li></ul><ul><li>Anthropological nostalgia (obsession with small-scale, acephalous, stateless, w/ ethnography) </li></ul><ul><li>Relative importance of natural environment (cultural ecology) </li></ul><ul><li>Village exogamy </li></ul>
  31. 31. Tribe cannot exist anymore <ul><li>Not autonomous (claimed by sovereign state) </li></ul><ul><li>Not self-sufficient </li></ul><ul><li>Notion of “well-being” </li></ul><ul><li>Market economy </li></ul><ul><li>Complex technology (ease borrowing0 </li></ul><ul><li>Literate in foreign languages </li></ul><ul><li>“ joining modern world” (Western-style industrialism) </li></ul>
  32. 32. Reconstruction, illusion, invention… <ul><li>Tribalism as inappropriate carryover </li></ul><ul><li>Nyerere on tribal to national (to post-national) </li></ul><ul><li>“ not historical foundation” but Oyo (parallel post-colonial names from kingdoms and empires) </li></ul><ul><li>Problems of definition, illusion, transformation </li></ul>
  33. 33. Social Politics <ul><li>Language/politics/self-determination </li></ul><ul><li>Political use of tools given </li></ul><ul><li>“ clear cut, isolated, enclosed” </li></ul><ul><li>“ united more by language than by culture…speak of themselves as” </li></ul><ul><li>Administrative to people </li></ul><ul><li>Constructs/artefacts </li></ul>
  34. 34. Identities <ul><li>District or subtribe </li></ul><ul><li>Language-based identity (not recognised) </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-linguistic </li></ul><ul><li>“ not…undifferentiated mass but…differentiated in many subtle and complex ways for different purposes” </li></ul><ul><li>“ interlocking, overlapping, multiple and alternative collective identities” </li></ul>
  35. 35. Post-National <ul><li>Post-industrial as exclusively Western? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Constrasting mirror” </li></ul><ul><li>Malagasy identities (Cole on) </li></ul><ul><li>City states (parallel ancient Greece and current emphasis on local) </li></ul><ul><li>Somali as nation-state with complications </li></ul>
  36. 36. Beyond Tribe <ul><li>Ethnicity? </li></ul><ul><li>Transcending ethnocentrism </li></ul><ul><li>“ ethnic group” as solution? (problematised later) </li></ul>

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