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African Futures

Author : Brian Goldstone
ISBN : 9780226402413
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 35.2 MB
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Civil wars, corporate exploitation, AIDS, and Ebola—but also democracy, burgeoning cities, and unprecedented communication and mobility: the future of Africa has never been more uncertain. Indeed, that future is one of the most complex issues in contemporary anthropology, as evidenced by the incredible wealth of ideas offered in this landmark volume. A consortium comprised of some of the most important scholars of Africa today, this book surveys an intellectual landscape of opposed perspectives in order to think within the contradictions that characterize this central question: Where is Africa headed? The experts in this book address Africa’s future as it is embedded within various social and cultural forms emerging on the continent today: the reconfiguration of the urban, the efflorescence of signs and wonders and gospels of prosperity, the assorted techniques of legality and illegality, lotteries and Ponzi schemes, apocalyptic visions, a yearning for exile, and many other phenomena. Bringing together social, political, religious, and economic viewpoints, the book reveals not one but multiple prospects for the future of Africa. In doing so, it offers a pathbreaking model of pluralistic and open-ended thinking and a powerful tool for addressing the vexing uncertainties that underlie so many futures around the world.
Category: Social Science

The Oxford Handbook Of Modern African History

Author : John Parker
ISBN : 9780191667558
Genre : History
File Size : 37.29 MB
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The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History represents an invaluable tool for historians and others in the field of African studies. This collection of essays, produced by some of the finest scholars currently working in the field, provides the latest insights into, and interpretations of, the history of Africa - a continent with a rich and complex past. An understanding of this past is essential to gain perspective on Africa's current challenges, and this accessible and comprehensive volume will allow readers to explore various aspects - political, economic, social, and cultural - of the continent's history over the last two hundred years. Since African history first emerged as a serious academic endeavour in the 1950s and 1960s, it has undergone numerous shifts in terms of emphasis and approach, changes brought about by political and economic exigencies and by ideological debates. This multi-faceted Handbook is essential reading for anyone with an interest in those debates, and in Africa and its peoples. While the focus is determinedly historical, anthropology, geography, literary criticism, political science and sociology are all employed in this ground-breaking study of Africa's past.
Category: History

African Futures

Author : Lien Heidenreich
ISBN : 3735601863
Genre :
File Size : 28.33 MB
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Today, Europe and the world are increasingly looking to Africa - and they like to describe the future of the continent in extremes: as a gloomy, apocalyptic vision or a paradise of booming investment.But how do artists, cultural producers, and scientists

The Spirit Of The Laws In Mozambique

Author : Juan Obarrio
ISBN : 9780226153865
Genre : History
File Size : 46.96 MB
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Mozambique has been hailed as a success story by political analysts as well as by the international community of donors, who have supported the juridical reform of the state which has been ongoing since the end of the civil war and transition from Socialism in the mid 1990s. The present book by anthropologist Juan Obarrio reveals a very different picture. The work is an ethnographic study of transformations of the state in Mozambique over a span of thirty-five years: from Portuguese colonialism, through Afro-Marxism, civil war, and the current neoliberal democratic transition. It examines the ongoing construction of a complex juridical and political field of forces in which several competing authorities claim sovereignty over the local. Obarrio s main argument is that despite the wave of democratization and liberalization that has occurred over the last two decades, the current Mozambican state enforces a type of restricted citizenship, linked to the re-appraisal of pre-colonial customary formations. Ultimately, Obarrio views the African postcolony as a maze of competing jurisdictions through which historical difference is reproduced, showing the limits of state sovereignty as well as democratic citizenship. The legacies of violence from the colonial regime, the Socialist experience and the devastating the civil war still inhabit the force of law today, underscoring the necessity of an anthropology of law and justice for enriching the approaches of Africanist postcolonial theory. In Obarrio s account, custom re-emerges, not as a figure of the past but, rather, as the ambiguous future of postcolonial political history."
Category: History

Legacies Logics Logistics

Author : Jane I. Guyer
ISBN : 9780226326900
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 43.71 MB
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Legacies, Logics, Logistics brings together a set of essays, written both before and after the financial crisis of 2007–08, by eminent Africanist and economic anthropologist Jane I. Guyer. Each was written initially for a conference on a defined theme. When they are brought together and interpreted as a whole by Guyer, these varied essays show how an anthropological and socio-historical approach to economic practices—both in the West and elsewhere—can illuminate deep facets of economic life that the big theories and models may fail to capture. Focusing on economic actors—whether ordinary consumers or financial experts—Guyer traces how people and institutions hold together past experiences (legacies), imagined scenarios and models (logics), and situational challenges (logistics) in a way that makes the performance of economic life (on platforms made of these legacies, logics, and logistics) work in practice. Individual essays explore a number of topics—including time frames and the future, the use of percentages in observations and judgments, the explanation of prices, the coexistence of different world currencies, the reapplication of longtime economic theories in new settings, and, crucially, how we talk about the economy, how we use stable terms to describe a turbulent system. Valuable as standalone pieces, the essays build into a cogent method of economic anthropology.
Category: Social Science

The Submerged State

Author : Suzanne Mettler
ISBN : 9780226521664
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 42.41 MB
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“Keep your government hands off my Medicare!” Such comments spotlight a central question animating Suzanne Mettler’s provocative and timely book: why are many Americans unaware of government social benefits and so hostile to them in principle, even though they receive them? The Obama administration has been roundly criticized for its inability to convey how much it has accomplished for ordinary citizens. Mettler argues that this difficulty is not merely a failure of communication; rather it is endemic to the formidable presence of the “submerged state.” In recent decades, federal policymakers have increasingly shunned the outright disbursing of benefits to individuals and families and favored instead less visible and more indirect incentives and subsidies, from tax breaks to payments for services to private companies. These submerged policies, Mettler shows, obscure the role of government and exaggerate that of the market. As a result, citizens are unaware not only of the benefits they receive, but of the massive advantages given to powerful interests, such as insurance companies and the financial industry. Neither do they realize that the policies of the submerged state shower their largest benefits on the most affluent Americans, exacerbating inequality. Mettler analyzes three Obama reforms—student aid, tax relief, and health care—to reveal the submerged state and its consequences, demonstrating how structurally difficult it is to enact policy reforms and even to obtain public recognition for achieving them. She concludes with recommendations for reform to help make hidden policies more visible and governance more comprehensible to all Americans. The sad truth is that many American citizens do not know how major social programs work—or even whether they benefit from them. Suzanne Mettler’s important new book will bring government policies back to the surface and encourage citizens to reclaim their voice in the political process.
Category: Political Science

Dealing With Elusive Futures

Author : Noemi Steuer
ISBN : 9783839439494
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 38.39 MB
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The time to come - as well as the exploration thereof - remains elusive for social actors and social scientists alike. The contributors accept the challenge to depict young men and women's future-creating activities in urban contexts of sub-Saharan Africa. Very consciously, they study young graduates having obtained a university degree and provide a vivid picture of their strategies to socially grow older by doing adulthood in contexts of great uncertainty. The examples include Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ethiopia, Mali and Tanzania, visually enriched through pictures taken by young Malian photographers.
Category: Social Science

The Underneath Of Things

Author : Mariane Ferme
ISBN : 0520925718
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 29.7 MB
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In this erudite and gracefully written ethnography, Mariane Ferme explores the links between a violent historical and political legacy, and the production of secrecy in everyday material culture. The focus is on Mende-speaking southeastern Sierra Leone and the surrounding region. Since 1990, this area has been ravaged by a civil war that produced population displacements and regional instability. The Underneath of Things documents the rural impact of the progressive collapse of the Sierra Leonean state in the past several decades, and seeks to understand how an even earlier history is reinscribed in the present.
Category: Social Science

Architecture For The Poor

Author : Hassan Fathy
ISBN : 0226239144
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 84.60 MB
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Architecture for the Poor describes Hassan Fathy's plan for building the village of New Gourna, near Luxor, Egypt, without the use of more modern and expensive materials such as steel and concrete. Using mud bricks, the native technique that Fathy learned in Nubia, and such traditional Egyptian architectural designs as enclosed courtyards and vaulted roofing, Fathy worked with the villagers to tailor his designs to their needs. He taught them how to work with the bricks, supervised the erection of the buildings, and encouraged the revival of such ancient crafts as claustra (lattice designs in the mudwork) to adorn the buildings.
Category: Social Science

The Rural Modern

Author : Kate Merkel-Hess
ISBN : 9780226383279
Genre : History
File Size : 43.3 MB
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"The Rural Modern" by historian Kate Merkel-Hess is the first book to discuss the importance of rural China in the nation s efforts to define itself as modern in the twentieth century. Discussions of modernization efforts in twentieth-century China have usually focused on modernity s manifestations from ironworks to banking to dancehalls in China s cities. As a result, the Communist peasant revolution appears to be a historical break. But Merkel-Hess shows that the countryside was crucial for reformers in Republican China, much before the peasant revolution of the communist period. Reformers hoped that, once the rural masses were educated enough to realize how China had been taken advantage of by imperial powers, they would act to repel foreign intervention. The Rural Reconstruction Movement s agenda was not a partisan plan for revitalization but rather a fundamentally Chinese one, a reconfiguration of traditional ways of engaging the countryside. In international Shanghai, modernity usually signaled what was foreign and new, but, as Merkel-Hess argues, it was the rural modern that captured the Chinese people s desire for a modernity rooted in Chinese tradition, and rural reform thus became crucial to China s self-definition. The book sheds much-needed light on the tensions--between foreign and traditional Chinese, urban and rural, tradition and reconstruction--that roiled the Chinese intellectual world in the early twentieth century, tensions that informed people s actions and social relations, government policies, and subsequent efforts to create a modern nation during the communist period."
Category: History