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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.
For over two centuries, Western scholars have discussed African philosophy and culture, often in disparaging, condescending terms, and always from an alien European perspective. Many Africans now share this perspective, having been trained in the western, empirical tradition. Makinde argues that, particularly in view of the costs and failings of western style culture, Africans must now mold their own modern culture by blending useful western practices with valuable indigenous African elements.
In the West we are accustomed to think of religion as centered in the personal quest for salvation or the longing for unchanging Being. Perhaps this is why we have found it so difficult to understand the religions of Africa. These religions are oriented to very different goals: fecundity, prosperity, health, social harmony.
This translation of Ibrahim Syukri’s Sejarah Kerajaan Melayu Patani (SKMP) makes available a little known but important manuscript published privately ca. 1950 and printed in jawi (Malay written in a modified Arabic script). Shortly after its publication, the book was banned in both Thailand and Malaysia. It appears that a few copies of the original printing survived.The