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Dealing with uncertainty in contemporary African lives
The Nordic Africa Institute.
2009 (English)Collection (editor) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The articles in ‘Dealing with Uncertainty in Contemporary African Lives’ are based largely on work in Tanzania which has been spared much of the turmoil that elsewhere has uprooted populations and destroyed communities. Nevertheless they illuminate phenomena common throughout sub-Saharan Africa as modernity in its many guises undercuts old certainties, outmodes established knowledge of how to order life and deal with crises, introduces new hazards, and frustrates ambition and expectations. But as the editors, Haram and Yamba, point out, uncertainty and insecurity have a positive side, providing the basis for ‘curiosity and exploration’. The case studies demonstrate both the increasing uncertainty and insecurity of life in contemporary Africa and the ways that people respond, including warding off and reaching out. Scapegoats are sought. Witch beliefs become elaborated as explanations of failures and malaise while witchfinding becomes a lucrative profession. Pentecostal or other fundamentalist churches burgeon as they assure people that life has meaning and better times are before them if only they believe. Suicide and insanity are other possible responses. All in all, a thought-provoking volume. Elizabeth Colson, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet , 2009. , 226 p.
Keyword [en]
Uncertainty, traditional culture, anthropology, cultural change, social change, modernization, gender relations, sexually transmitted diseases, economic implications, daily life, conference papers
National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-46ISBN: 978-91-7106-649-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nai-46DiVA: diva2:232981
Note
CONTENT -- Situating Uncertainty in Contemporary Africa: An introduction/Liv Haram and C. Bawa Yamba -- Chapter 1. Deliverance and Sanctified Passports: Prophetic Activities amidst Uncertainty in Harare/Ezra Chitando -- Chapter 2. Conditional Certainty: Uganda Charismatic Christians Striving for Health and Harmony/Catrine Christiansen -- Chapter 3. The Tragedy of Ageing: Witch Killings and Poor Governance among the Sukuma/Simeon Mesaki -- Chapter 4. Invisible Hands and Visible Goods: Revealed and Concealed Economies in Millennial Tanzania/Todd Sanders -- Chapter 5. Disease and Disruption: Chagga Witchcraft and Relational Fragility/Knut Christian Myhre -- Chapter 6. Coping with Mental Distress in Contemporary Dar es Salaam/Mary Ann Mhina -- Chapter 7. Female Suicides in Dar es Salaam: The Ultimate of Uncertainty and Despair/Noah K. Ndosi -- Chapter 8. Surviving AIDS? The Uncertainty of antiretroviral Treatment/Hanne O. Mogensen -- Chapter 9. Uncertain Livelihood: Women Challenging the Hegemonies of a Male Sexual Dominance/Liv Haram -- Epilogue by Susan Reynolds WhyteAvailable from: 2009-08-27 Created: 2009-08-27 Last updated: 2010-06-23Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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Output format
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