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ANTH326 Meeting 4

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Slides for the fourth class meeting of Alexandre Enkerli's course ANTH 326 Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa

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ANTH326 Meeting 4

  1. 1. ANTH326 Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa Meeting 4, Social Structure September 29, 2010
  2. 2. Project
  3. 3. Related References <ul><li>Grinker, Lubkemann, and Steiner </li></ul><ul><li>How to Write about Africa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.granta.com/Magazine/92/How-to-Write-About-Africa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Binyavanga Wainaina </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ma famille </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ivoirian series </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tou.tv until October 4 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.tou.tv/ma-famille </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Africa as Mirror <ul><li>Define Western by contrast </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to Orientalism </li></ul><ul><li>The go-to Other </li></ul><ul><li>Nostalgia </li></ul><ul><li>Stigmatization </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Third World&quot; </li></ul>
  5. 5. Impossible to generalize <ul><li>Unusual cases </li></ul><ul><li>Catalogue </li></ul><ul><li>Contrasting cases within Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Contrast with alleged reader's notions </li></ul><ul><li>Particular to broader </li></ul>
  6. 6. McCall
  7. 7. Approach <ul><li>Playing with narrative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with striking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contextualize </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What colonial administrators missed </li></ul><ul><li>What colonial administrators created </li></ul>
  8. 8. Intro to Culture <ul><li>Kinship/household </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural relativism and polygyny </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Gerontocracy </li></ul><ul><li>Caste-like stratification </li></ul>
  9. 9. Infrastructure <ul><li>Modes of production and reproduction </li></ul><ul><li>Agrarian by default </li></ul><ul><li>Market </li></ul>
  10. 10. Structure <ul><li>Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Joking relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Solidarity </li></ul><ul><li>Sodalities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Age sets/grades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cohorts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutionalized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul>
  11. 11. Southall
  12. 12. &quot;Tribal&quot; <ul><li>Preconceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Technical definition </li></ul><ul><li>A posteriori definition </li></ul>
  13. 13. Defining Groups <ul><li>Core part of social science </li></ul><ul><li>Group construction </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of outside definitions </li></ul><ul><li>Allegiance </li></ul><ul><li>Language (Herder) </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiated boundaries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Barth </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Constructed Groups <ul><li>Widespread </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even found in Europe </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Divide and conquer </li></ul><ul><li>United we stand </li></ul><ul><li>Necessary in context </li></ul><ul><li>Primary identity </li></ul><ul><li>Causing wars </li></ul><ul><li>Solution in ethnic groups? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Complexity <ul><li>Layered identities </li></ul><ul><li>Fluidity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Urban/rural </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networks </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Modernity <ul><li>Modern Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Associated to colonialism </li></ul><ul><li>Different from Westernization </li></ul><ul><li>Nationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Individualism </li></ul>
  17. 17. Contemporary Africa <ul><li>Modern </li></ul><ul><li>Young </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse </li></ul>
  18. 18. States in Africa <ul><li>Long history </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kingdoms and Empires </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Next to small-scale groups </li></ul><ul><li>Embed small-scale groups </li></ul><ul><li>Nation-states </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Somali as textbook case </li></ul></ul>

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