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The Fractured Community: Landscapes Of Power And Gender In Rural Zambia
by Kate Crehan
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This study examines the lives of the women and men living in two small rural communities in Zambia on the eve of the collapse of the one-party state in the 1980s. Moving beyond the limits of traditional ethnography, Kate Crehan traces the often complex ways in which local, day-to-day realities are linked to wider economic, political, imaginative structures of power beyond northwestern Zambia.
Drawing on extensive fieldwork, Crehan examines economics and gender, politics and kin relations, state and local relations, and witchcraft. Situating her data within a sophisticated yet accessible theoretical framework, she uncovers the power relations that have shaped and defined these communities. Among Crehan's theoretical contributions is a deft argument for the use of Antonio Gramsci's notion of hegemony to analyze ordinary life.
This examination of a marginalized, rural society throws unexpected light on some of the concrete realities of capitalism in contemporary sub-Saharan Africa. It also provides inspiring examples of how complicated theoretical viewpoints can be translated--without simplification--into clear starting points for research.
About the Author
Kate Crehan is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research, New York.
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