EMAIL FROM NGETI AN ETHNOGRAPHY OF SORCERY REDEMPTION AND FRIENDSHIP IN GLOBAL AFRICA

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Email From Ngeti

Author : James H. Smith
ISBN : 9780520959408
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 65.47 MB
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Email from Ngeti is a captivating story of sorcery, redemption, and transnational friendship in the globalized twenty-first century. When the anthropologist James Smith returns to Kenya to begin fieldwork for a new research project, he meets Ngeti Mwadime, a young man from the Taita Hills who is as interested in the United States as Smith is in Taita. Ngeti possesses a savvy sense of humor and an unusual command of the English language, which he teaches himself by watching American movies and memorizing the Oxford English Dictionary. Smith and Mwadime soon develop a friendship that comes to span years and continents, impacting both men in profound and unexpected ways. For Smith, Ngeti can be understood as an exemplar of a young generation of Africans navigating the multiplicity of contemporary African life—a process that is augmented by globalized culture and the Internet. Keenly aware of the world outside Taita and Kenya, Ngeti dreams big, with endless plans for striking it rich. As he struggles to free himself from what he imagines to be the hold of the past, he embarks on an odyssey that takes him to local diviners, witch-finders, Pentecostal preachers, and prophets. This is the fascinating ethnography of Mwadime and Smith, largely told through their shared emails, journals, and recorded conversations in the field. Throughout, the reader is struck by the immediacy and poignancy of coauthor Ngeti's narrative, which marks a groundbreaking shift in the nature of anthropological fieldwork and writing.
Category: Social Science

Traveling Light

Author : Kath Weston
ISBN : 0807041378
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 22.12 MB
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From Montgomery to Missoula, Boston to Oakland, conversations on buses with people living poor in the world's wealthiest nation What happens when you're broke and you need to get to a new job, an ailing parent, a powwow, or a funeral on the other side of the country? After decades of globalization, what kind of America will you glimpse out the window on your way? For five years, Kath Weston rode the bus to find out. Traveling Light is not another book about people stuck in poverty. Rather, it's a book about how people move through poverty and their insights into the sweeping economic changes that affect us all. Weston's route takes her through Northeastern cities buried under layoffs, an immigration raid in the Southwest, an antiwar rally in the capitol, and the path traced by Hurricane Katrina. Like any road story, this one has characters that linger in the imagination: the trucker who has to give up his rig to have an operation; the teenager who can turn any Hollywood movie into a rap song; the homeless veteran who dreams of running his own shrimp boat; the sketch artist who breathes life into African American history; the single mother scrambling for loose change. "Brilliant, haunting, powerful, and ultimately inspiring . . . The nation needs to reckon with what Weston has uncovered." - Juliet Schor
Category: Social Science

A Problem Of Presence

Author : Matthew Engelke
ISBN : 9780520940048
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 25.26 MB
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The Friday Masowe apostolics of Zimbabwe refer to themselves as "the Christians who don’t read the Bible." They claim they do not need the Bible because they receive the Word of God "live and direct" from the Holy Spirit. In this insightful and sensitive historical ethnography, Matthew Engelke documents how this rejection of scripture speaks to longstanding concerns within Christianity over mediation and authority. The Bible, of course, has been a key medium through which Christians have recognized God’s presence. But the apostolics perceive scripture as an unnecessary, even dangerous, mediator. For them, the materiality of the Bible marks a distance from the divine and prohibits the realization of a live and direct faith. Situating the Masowe case within a broad comparative framework, Engelke shows how their rejection of textual authority poses a problem of presence—which is to say, how the religious subject defines, and claims to construct, a relationship with the spiritual world through the semiotic potentials of language, actions, and objects. Written in a lively and accessible style, A Problem of Presence makes important contributions to the anthropology of Christianity, the history of religions in Africa, semiotics, and material culture studies.
Category: Social Science

Transforming Cape Town

Author : Catherine Besteman
ISBN : 0520942647
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 40.52 MB
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This study provides a window into the lives of ordinary South Africans more than ten years after the end of apartheid, with the promises of the democracy movement remaining largely unfulfilled. Catherine Besteman explores the emotional and personal aspects of the transition to black majority rule by homing in on intimate questions of love, family, and community and capturing the complex, sometimes contradictory voices of a wide variety of Capetonians. Her evaluation of the physical and psychic costs to individuals involved in working for social change is grounded in the experiences of the participants and illu-minates two overarching dimensions of life in Cape Town: the aggregate forces determined to maintain the apartheid-era status quo, and the grassroots efforts to effect social change.
Category: Social Science

Black Mecca

Author : Zain Abdullah
ISBN : 9780199718214
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 76.17 MB
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The changes to U.S. immigration law that were instituted in 1965 have led to an influx of West African immigrants to New York, creating an enclave Harlem residents now call ''Little Africa.'' These immigrants are immediately recognizable as African in their wide-sleeved robes and tasseled hats, but most native-born members of the community are unaware of the crucial role Islam plays in immigrants' lives. Zain Abdullah takes us inside the lives of these new immigrants and shows how they deal with being a double minority in a country where both blacks and Muslims are stigmatized. Dealing with this dual identity, Abdullah discovers, is extraordinarily complex. Some longtime residents embrace these immigrants and see their arrival as an opportunity to reclaim their African heritage, while others see the immigrants as scornful invaders. In turn, African immigrants often take a particularly harsh view of their new neighbors, buying into the worst stereotypes about American-born blacks being lazy and incorrigible. And while there has long been a large Muslim presence in Harlem, and residents often see Islam as a force for social good, African-born Muslims see their Islamic identity disregarded by most of their neighbors. Abdullah weaves together the stories of these African Muslims to paint a fascinating portrait of a community's efforts to carve out space for itself in a new country.
Category: Social Science

I Did It To Save My Life

Author : Catherine E. Bolten
ISBN : 9780520273788
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 66.64 MB
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“Ethnographically rich, these accounts come to life in beautiful prose. These are inspiring and at times heartbreaking stories of how people living in such difficult and dangerous circumstances find ways to survive, love and take care of each other. This will be a valuable contribution as well as a welcome counter to the more popular images of warzones as places of total immorality.”—Catherine Besteman, author of Transforming Cape Town
Category: Social Science

Introducing Anthropology Of Religion

Author : Jack David Eller
ISBN : 9781317579137
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 64.74 MB
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This clear and engaging guide introduces students to key areas of the field and shows how to apply an anthropological approach to the study of religion in the contemporary world. Written by an experienced teacher, it covers major traditional topics including definitions, theories and beliefs as well as symbols, myth and ritual. The book also explores important but often overlooked issues such as morality, violence, fundamentalism, secularization, and new religious movements. The chapters all contain lively case studies of religions practiced around the world. The second edition of Introducing Anthropology of Religion contains updated theoretical discussion plus fresh ethnographic examples throughout. In addition to a brand new chapter on vernacular religion, Eller provides a significantly revised chapter on the emerging anthropologies of Christianity and Islam. The book features more material on contemporary societies as well as new coverage of topics such as pilgrimage and paganism. Images, a glossary and questions for discussion are now included and additional resources are provided via a companion website.
Category: Social Science

The Devil Behind The Mirror

Author : Steven Gregory
ISBN : 9780520282254
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 64.64 MB
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In The Devil behind the Mirror, Steven Gregory provides a compelling and intimate account of the impact that transnational processes associated with globalization are having on the lives and livelihoods of people in the Dominican Republic. Grounded in ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the adjacent towns of Boca Chica and Andrés, Gregory's study deftly demonstrates how transnational flows of capital, culture, and people are mediated by contextually specific power relations, politics, and history. He explores such topics as the informal economy, the making of a telenova, sex tourism, and racism and discrimination against Haitians, who occupy the lowest rung on the Dominican economic ladder. Innovative, beautifully written, and now updated with a new preface, The Devil behind the Mirror masterfully situates the analysis of global economic change in everyday lives.
Category: Political Science

The Gebusi

Author : Bruce Knauft
ISBN : 9781478631804
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 38.79 MB
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One of the most popular anthropological case studies published in the last two decades, the latest edition of The Gebusi incorporates important new fieldwork, bringing ethnographic excellence and a riveting story fully up to date. Readers are welcomed into the lives of Papua New Guinea rainforest dwellers to witness a dramatic arc of cultural change and human transformation. When Knauft first studied them, Gebusi practiced powerful spirit séances and sorcery divinations, held resplendent initiations that included distinctive sexual customs, and endured high rates of violence. Sixteen years later, he found them participating in market activity, schooling, government programs, and sports; performing their own popular music; and practicing Christianity. More recently, Gebusi have been battered by economic hardship and withdrawal of government services—but have admirably revitalized their culture and livelihood. Sustained by traditions, access to land and waterways, and a keen sense of humor and vitality, Gebusi exhibit resilience and dignity amid conditions of continuing uncertainty and change. An absorbing, well-written, and humanistic account based on profound scholarship, The Gebusi, 4/E includes end-of-chapter “Broader Connections” that link Gebusi experiences to major anthropological topics—subsistence, kinship and marriage, politics, religion, gender and sexuality, ethnicity, nationalism, modernity, and the ethics of engaged and applied anthropology. A stunning full-color photo insert accentuates Knauft’s absorbing narrative. Callouts to instructional videos recorded with Gebusi and to an extensive online image bank on the author’s website further enrich the ethnography.
Category: Social Science

Down In The Chapel

Author : Joshua Dubler
ISBN : 9781466837119
Genre : Religion
File Size : 23.7 MB
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A bold and provocative interpretation of one of the most religiously vibrant places in America—a state penitentiary Baraka, Al, Teddy, and Sayyid—four black men from South Philadelphia, two Christian and two Muslim—are serving life sentences at Pennsylvania's maximum-security Graterford Prison. All of them work in Graterford's chapel, a place that is at once a sanctuary for religious contemplation and an arena for disputing the workings of God and man. Day in, day out, everything is, in its twisted way, rather ordinary. And then one of them disappears. Down in the Chapel tells the story of one week at Graterford Prison. We learn how the men at Graterford pass their time, care for themselves, and commune with their makers. We observe a variety of Muslims, Protestants, Catholics, and others, at prayer and in study and song. And we listen in as an interloping scholar of religion tries to make sense of it all. When prisoners turn to God, they are often scorned as con artists who fake their piety, or pitied as wretches who cling to faith because faith is all they have left. Joshua Dubler goes beyond these stereotypes to show the religious life of a prison in all its complexity. One part prison procedural, one part philosophical investigation, Down in the Chapel explores the many uses prisoners make of their religions and weighs the circumstances that make these uses possible. Gritty and visceral, meditative and searching, it is an essential study of American religion in the age of mass incarceration.
Category: Religion