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 : 56.58 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

Black Mecca

Author : Zain Abdullah
ISBN : 9780199718214
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 83.36 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

Traveling Light

Author : Kath Weston
ISBN : 0807041378
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 58.53 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

Transforming Cape Town

Author : Catherine Besteman
ISBN : 0520942647
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 90.88 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

A Problem Of Presence

Author : Matthew Engelke
ISBN : 9780520940048
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 23.69 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

Introducing Anthropology Of Religion

Author : Jack David Eller
ISBN : 9781317579137
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 55.49 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 : 0520940121
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 60.97 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 and beautifully written, The Devil behind the Mirror masterfully situates the analysis of global economic change in everyday lives.
Category: Social Science

For Love Of The Prophet

Author : Noah Salomon
ISBN : 9781400884292
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 26.37 MB
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For some, the idea of an Islamic state serves to fulfill aspirations for cultural sovereignty and new forms of ethical political practice. For others, it violates the proper domains of both religion and politics. Yet, while there has been much discussion of the idea and ideals of the Islamic state, its possibilities and impossibilities, surprisingly little has been written about how this political formation is lived. For Love of the Prophet looks at the Republic of Sudan's twenty-five-year experiment with Islamic statehood. Focusing not on state institutions, but rather on the daily life that goes on in their shadows, Noah Salomon’s careful ethnography examines the lasting effects of state Islamization on Sudanese society through a study of the individuals and organizations working in its midst. Salomon investigates Sudan at a crucial moment in its history—balanced between unity and partition, secular and religious politics, peace and war—when those who desired an Islamic state were rethinking the political form under which they had lived for nearly a generation. Countering the dominant discourse, Salomon depicts contemporary Islamic politics not as a response to secularism and Westernization but as a node in a much longer conversation within Islamic thought, augmented and reappropriated as state projects of Islamic reform became objects of debate and controversy. Among the first books to delve into the making of the modern Islamic state, For Love of the Prophet reveals both novel political ideals and new articulations of Islam as it is rethought through the lens of the nation.
Category: Social Science

The Gebusi

Author : Bruce Knauft
ISBN : 9781478631804
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 73.94 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

From Mukogodo To Maasai

Author : Lee Cronk
ISBN : 0786729937
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 60.43 MB
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Can one change one's ethnicity? Can an entire ethnic group change its ethnicity? This book focuses on the strategic manipulation of ethnic identity by the Mukogodo of Kenya. Until the 1920s and 1930s, the Mukogodo were Cushitic-speaking foragers (hunters, gatherers, and beekeepers). However, changes brought on by British colonial policies led them to move away from life as independent foragers and into the orbit of the high-status Maasai, whom they began to emulate. Today, the Mukogodo form the bottom rung of a regional socioeconomic ladder of Maa-speaking pastoralists. An interesting by-product of this sudden ethnic change has been to give Mukogodo women, who tend to marry up the ladder, better marital and reproductive prospects than Mukogodo men. Mukogodo parents have responded with an unusual pattern of favoring daughters over sons, though they emulate the Maasai by verbally expressing a preference for sons.
Category: Social Science