The Lunda-Ndembu: Style, Change, and Social Transformation in South Central Africa

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9780299171544: The Lunda-Ndembu: Style, Change, and Social Transformation in South Central Africa
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Bridging history and anthropology, this richly documented account of the Lunda-Ndembu people of northwestern Zambia has at its center the paradox of continuity and change. To legitimate and justify innovations to their cultural identity and practice, the Lunda-Ndembu propose that such innovations have conceptual similarities to long-standing traditions.
     While framing the discussion around classic anthropological oppositions—the individual versus the group, old versus young, females versus males, rich versus poor, us versus them, people versus the natural environment, the physical world vs. the metaphysical world—James A. Pritchett also offers a work of historical imagination. It is at the shifting boundaries of these relationships, he argues, that change is actually confronted on a daily basis, spoken about, and negotiated into conformity with widespread and enduring traditions.
     Juxtaposing Victor Turner's ethnographic data on the Ndembu from the 1950s with his own fieldwork in the 1980s and 1990s, Pritchett demonstrates that, by restudying areas already well known, it is possible to generate richly nuanced answers about social change that more accurately reflect local sensibilities.

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About the Author:

James A. Pritchett is assistant professor of anthropology and assistant director of the African Studies Center at Boston University.

From Library Journal:

This absorbing book is an analytical journey into the interstices of Lunda-Ndembu, a social organization whose relations are organized around descent, gender, age, property, power, ethnicity, and the material and supernatural worlds. The Lunda-Ndembu of Zambia are famous in anthropology owing to several classic studies by the late Victor Turner. Pritchett (Boston Univ.) does not merely update Turner's work but challenges received ideas about "traditional" African societies. His ethnography evokes the works of major British anthropologists who sought to understand small-scale African societies, but unlike them, he uses a long-time perspective, particularly in interpreting the history of trade. Pritchett addresses important political, administrative, and development issues in a clear, well-documented, but somewhat loose and indirect argument. His focus on social processes may have prevented him from laying out a complete picture, but it is useful in placing the Lunda-Ndembu in a broad regional context. For its intended readership specialists with advanced knowledge of anthropology this book has the potential to become a classic in its own right. Recommended for anthropology collections. Jay H. Bernstein, Fordham Univ. Lib., Bronx, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description University of Wisconsin Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Continuity and change in Zambia Bridging history and anthropology, this richly documented account of the Lunda-Ndembu people of northwestern Zambia has at its center the paradox of continuity and change. To legitimate and justify innovations to their cultural identity and practice, the Lunda-Ndembu propose that such innovations have conceptual similarities to long-standing traditions. While framing the discussion around classic anthropological oppositions - the individual versus the group, old versus young, females versus males, rich versus poor, us versus them, people versus the natural environment, the physical world vs. the metaphysical world - James A. Pritchett also offers a work of historical imagination. It is at the shifting boundaries of these relationships, he argues, that change is actually confronted on a daily basis, spoken about, and negotiated into conformity with widespread and enduring traditions. Juxtaposing Victor Turner's ethnographic data on the Ndembu from the 1950s with his own fieldwork in the 1980s and 1990s, Pritchett demonstrates that, by restudying areas already well known, it is possible to generate nuanced answers about social change that more accurately reflect local sensibilities. Seller Inventory # APC9780299171544

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Book Description University of Wisconsin Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Continuity and change in Zambia Bridging history and anthropology, this richly documented account of the Lunda-Ndembu people of northwestern Zambia has at its center the paradox of continuity and change. To legitimate and justify innovations to their cultural identity and practice, the Lunda-Ndembu propose that such innovations have conceptual similarities to long-standing traditions. While framing the discussion around classic anthropological oppositions - the individual versus the group, old versus young, females versus males, rich versus poor, us versus them, people versus the natural environment, the physical world vs. the metaphysical world - James A. Pritchett also offers a work of historical imagination. It is at the shifting boundaries of these relationships, he argues, that change is actually confronted on a daily basis, spoken about, and negotiated into conformity with widespread and enduring traditions. Juxtaposing Victor Turner's ethnographic data on the Ndembu from the 1950s with his own fieldwork in the 1980s and 1990s, Pritchett demonstrates that, by restudying areas already well known, it is possible to generate nuanced answers about social change that more accurately reflect local sensibilities. Seller Inventory # APC9780299171544

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