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A staple of postwar academic writing, “nationalism” is a contentious and often unanalyzed abstraction. It is generally treated as something “imagined,” “fashioned,” and “disseminated,”as an idea located in the mind, in printed matter, on maps, in symbols such as flags and anthems, and in collective memory.
George Stow was a Victorian man of many parts—poet, historian, ethnographer, artist, cartographer, and prolific writer. A geologist by profession, he became acquainted, through his work in the field, with the extraordinary wealth of rock paintings in the caves and shelters of the South African interior. Enchanted and absorbed by them, Stow set out to create a record of this creative work of the people who had tracked and marked the South African landscape decades and centuries before him.Un
In Western scholarship, Africa’s so-called sacred forests are often treated as the remains of primeval forests, ethnographic curiosities, or cultural relics from a static precolonial past. African Sacred Groves challenges dominant views of these landscape features by redefining the subject matter beyond the compelling yet uninformative term “sacred.”
Swiss missionaries played a primary and little-known role in explaining Africa to the literate world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This book emphasizes how these European intellectuals, brought to the deep rural areas of southern Africa by their vocation, formulated and ordered knowledge about the continent.Central to this group was Junod, who became a pioneering collector in the fields of entomology and botany.
In the 1870s, facing cultural extinction and the death of their language, several San men and women told their stories to two pioneering colonial scholars in Cape Town, Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd. The narratives of these San—or Bushmen—were of the land, the rain, the history of the first people, and the origin of the moon and stars.
Native American societies, often viewed as unchanging, in fact experienced a rich process of cultural innovation in the millennia prior to recorded history. Societies of the Hocking River Valley in southeastern Ohio, part of the Ohio River Valley, created a tribal organization beginning about 2000 bc.Edited
This pioneering book, first published to wide acclaim in 1986, traces the way the Ethiopian center and the peripheral regions of the country affected each other. It looks specifically at the expansion of the highland Ethiopian state into the western and southern lowlands from the 1890s up to 1974.
Witchcraft Dialogues analyzes the complex manner in which human beings construct, experience, and think about the “occult.” It brings together anthropologists, philosophers, and sociologists, from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, to engage the metaphysical properties of “witchcraft” and “sorcery” and to explore their manifestations in people’s lived experiences.While
After the 1925 discovery of diamonds in the semi-desert of the northwest coast of South Africa, De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. virtually proclaimed its dominion over the whole region. In the town of Kleinzee, the company owns all the real estate and infrastructure, and controls and administers both the town and the industry.Peter
The dominant trend in pastoralist studies has long assumed that pastoralism and pastoral gender relations are inherently patriarchal. The contributors to this collection, in contrast, use diverse analytic approaches to demonstrate that pastoralist gender relations are dynamic, relational, historical, and produced through complex local-translocal interactions.
This book, by an anthropologist, historian, social anthropologist, and schoolteacher, introduces the long history and current condition of the hunting people of southern Africa to students, teachers, and interested laypersons. It places the modern San in historical context and shows how they have continually adapted to outside pressures, which are forcing them to fit into the modern states of Namibia and Botswana.
Eastern African pastoralists often present themselves as being egalitarian, equating cattle ownership with wealth. By this definition “the poor are not us”, poverty is confined to non-pastoralist, socially excluded persons and groups.Exploring this notion means discovering something about self-perceptions and community consciousness, how pastoralist identity has been made in opposition to other modes of production, how pastoralists want others to see them and how they see themselves.This
This study has arisen out of a fascination with the vibrant nature of African societies, their vitality, and particularly the way in which they seem to be able time and again to overcome tribulation and turmoil.In the southern African region, ngoma, an indigenous ritual of healing, dance, rhythm, and rhyme, is at the heart of the social effort of turning the tables for individuals and communities so that their well-being is restored.This
Controlling Anger examines the dilemmas facing rural people who live within the broader context of political instability. Following Uganda’s independence from Britain in 1962, the Bagisu men of Southeastern Uganda developed a reputation for extreme violence.Drawing
The Denver African Expedition of 1925 sought “the cradle of Humanity.” The explorers returned claiming to have found the “Missing Link” in the Heikum bushmen of the Kalahari—and they proceeded to market this image. As Robert J. Gordon shows in Picturing Bushmen, the impact of the expedition lay not simply in its slick merchandising of bushmen images but also in the fact that the pictures were exotic and aesthetically pleasing.
John Lonsdale says in his introduction:“This is the oral evidence of the Kikuyu villagers with whom Greet Kershaw lived as an aid worker during the Mau Mau ‘Emergency’ in the 1950s, and which is now totally irrecoverable in any form save in her own field notes.Professor
Transgressing Boundaries includes some of the most interesting debates informing cultural politics in South Africa today. To do so, it brings together renowned contributors from Africa, North America and the United Kingdom.The book questions the boundaries between the academic disciplines by incorporating literary studies with anthropology, history, archaeology, art and gender studies.
The Cape Herders provides the first comprehensive picture of the Khoikhoi people. In doing so, it fills a long-standing gap in the resources of Southern African studies, and at a time when interest in the indigenous populations of South Africa is growing daily.Combining the insights of archaeology, history, and anthropology, this account ranges from the origins of the Khoikhoi in Southern Africa to the contemporary politics of the Namaqualand “reserves.”
Ecology Control and Economic Development in East African History
The Case of Tanganyika, 1850–1950
By Helge Kjekshus
This pioneering book was one of the first to place the history of East Africa within the context of the environment. It has been used continuously for student teaching. It is now reissued with an introduction placing it within the debate that has developed on the subject; there is also an updated bibliography.The book puts people at the centre of events. It thus serves as a modification to nationalist history with its emphasis on leaders.
Katutura, located in Namibia’s major urban center and capital, Windhoek, was a township created by apartheid, and administered in the past by the most rigid machinery of the apartheid era. Namibia became a sovereign state in 1990, and Katutura reflects many of the changes that have taken place. No longer part of a rigidly bounded social system, people in Katutura today have the opportunity to enter and leave as their personal circumstances dictate.
Based on the author’s fieldwork among the people of Zezuru, this study focuses on children as clients and as healers in training. In Reynolds’s ethnographic investigation of possession and healing, she pays particular attention to the way healers are identified and authenticated in communities, and how they are socialized in the use of medicinal plants, dreams, and ritual healing practices.
Forests of Gold is a collection of essays on the peoples of Ghana with particular reference to the most powerful of all their kingdoms: Asante. Beginning with the global and local conditions under which Akan society assumed its historic form between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, these essays go on to explore various aspects of Asante culture: conceptions of wealth, of time and motion, and the relationship between the unborn, the living, and the dead.
Zanzibar Stone Town presents the problems of conservation in its most acute forms. Should it be fossilized for the tourists? Or should it grow for the benefit of the inhabitants? Can ways be found to accommodate conflicting social and economic pressures?For its size, Zanzibar, like Venice, occupies a remarkably large romantic space in world imagination. Swahili civilization on these spice islands goes back to the earliest centuries of the Islamic era.
Conflicts in the Horn have all too often dominated press coverage of Africa. This book exposes the subtle and ambiguous role ethnicity can plan in social conflict, a role that is nowhere as simple and direct as commonly assumed. Social conflict is routinely attributed to ethnic differentiation because dividing lines between rival groups often follow ethnic contours and cultural symbolism has proved a potent ideological weapon.
Kiswahili has become the lingua franca of eastern Africa. Yet there can be few historic peoples whose identity is as elusive as that of the Swahili. Some have described themselves as Arabs, as Persians or even, in one place, as Portuguese. It is doubtful whether, even today, most of the people about whom this book is written would unhesitatingly and in all contexts accept the name Swahili.This book was central to the thought and lifework of the late James de Vere Allen.
Everyone “knows” the Maasai as proud pastoralists who once dominated the Rift Valley from northern Kenya to central Tanzania.But many people who identity themselves as Maasai, or who speak Maa, are not pastoralist at all, but farmers and hunters. Over time many different people have “become” something else. And what it means to be Maasai has changed radically over the past several centuries and is still changing today.This
In this, the first comprehensive study of the Tonga people in Zimbabwe, Pamela Reynolds focuses on children’s work in a subsistence agricultural system, assessing how much work they do, the value of their work to their families and how it both limits their opportunities and fosters their personal growth and knowledge.
Consequent upon the Berlin West Africa Conference (1884–1885), the Africanische Gesellschaft in Deutschland launched the Niger-Benue expedition to investigate possible riverine communications throughout the Niger-Benue river system. Responsibility for the expedition ultimately fell to Paul Staudinger, a young entomologist with no experience of inner Africa.This
Whether history or anthropology is the most fundamental social science remains still a controversial and undecided issue. For a proper understanding of this instructive controversy, the presuppositions of these two disciplines need to be critically and philosophically reviewed. Otherwise the true perspective of the controversy remains undisclosed and therefore unintelligible.A
The authors of this highly original book set out to remove the persistent boundary between the authors and readers of ethnography on one hand and the subjects of ethnography on the other – those who observe and those who are observed.The authors use stories to reveal Siaya, the Luo-speaking area of Western Kenya down near the Lake but still surprisingly vulnerable to drought.