Death of a Discipline? Reflections on the History, State, and Future of Social Anthropology in Zimbabwe
133 Pages
English
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Death of a Discipline? Reflections on the History, State, and Future of Social Anthropology in Zimbabwe

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Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more
133 Pages
English

Description

This is a book on the state of social anthropology as an academic discipline in contemporary Zimbabwe. The authors are frustrated and disheartened by a problematic visibility and sluggish growth of the discipline in the country. The book makes an important claim that the future and vibrancy of anthropology in Zimbabwe, lies in how well anthropologists in the country and in the diaspora are able to join efforts in articulating, debating and enhancing its relevance and vitality. The book provides critical overview and nuanced analyses of the role and continued relevance of the discipline in reading and interpreting the social unfolding of everyday life and dynamism. It is a vital text for understanding and contextualising histories and trends in the development of social anthropology in Zimbabwe and how anthropologists in the country navigate the tumultuous waters and struggles that have engrossed the discipline since colonial times. The book has the capacity to generate added insights and influence national, continental, and global debates and trends in the field.

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Published by
Published 08 August 2017
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EAN13 9789956763818
Language English
Document size 2 MB

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Exrait

Death of a Discipline? Munyaradzi Mawere and Artwell Nhemachena
This is a book on the state of social anthropology as an academic
discipline in contemporary Zimbabwe. The authors are frustrated Death of a Discipline?
and disheartened by a problematic visibility and sluggish growth of Refl ections on the History, State, and the discipline in the country. The book makes an important claim
that the future and vibrancy of anthropology in Zimbabwe, lies in Future of Social Anthropology in Zimbabwe
how well anthropologists in the country and in the diaspora are able
to join efforts in articulating, debating and enhancing its relevance
and vitality. The book provides critical overview and nuanced
analyses of the role and continued relevance of the discipline in
reading and interpreting the social unfolding of everyday life and
dynamism. It is a vital text for understanding and contextualising
histories and trends in the development of social anthropology in
Zimbabwe and how anthropologists in the country navigate the
tumultuous waters and struggles that have engrossed the discipline
since colonial times. The book has the capacity to generate added
insights and infl uence national, continental, and global debates and
trends in the fi eld.
MUNYARADZI MAWERE holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University
of Cape Town in South Africa. He is currently professor in the Department of
Culture and Heritage Studies at Great Zimbabwe University. He is an author of
more than 50 books and over 190 academic publications.
ARTWELL NHEMACHENA holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the
University of Cape Town in South Africa. He has lectured at several universities
in Zimbabwe, including the University of Zimbabwe, Women’s University in
Africa and Great Zimbabwe University. Currently, he lectures at the University
of Namibia. He has published, inter alia, on relational ontologies and resilience,
decoloniality and social theory.
Munyaradzi Mawere &
Artwell Nhemachena
Langaa Research & Publishing
Common Initiative Group
P.O. Box 902 Mankon
Bamenda
North West Region
Cameroon


Death of a Discipline?
Reflections on the history, state, and
future of Social Anthropology in
Zimbabwe






Munyaradzi Mawere &
Artwell Nhemachena














Langaa Research & Publishing CIG
Mankon, Bamenda Publisher:
Langaa RPCIG
Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group
P.O. Box 902 Mankon
Bamenda
North West Region
Cameroon
Langaagrp@gmail.com
www.langaa-rpcig.net



Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective
orders@africanbookscollective.com
www.africanbookscollective.com





ISBN-10: 9956-762-81-4
ISBN-13: 978-9956-762-81-1

© Munyaradzi Mawere & Artwell Nhemachena 2017




All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by
any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying and
recording, or be stored in any information storage or retrieval system,
without written permission from the publisher




Table of Contents


Chapter 1
Anthropology, Society, and Change
in Conversation…………………………………………. 1

Chapter 2
Anthropology, Christianity, and the
Colonial Project: A Search for a
Humane Anthropology in Zimbabwe…………………… 19

Chapter 3
Anthropology, Politics and Recognition:
A Disciplinary Struggle………………………………….. 43

Chapter 4
Anthropology and the Search for Relevance……………. 61

Chapter 5
Anthropology in Zimbabwe Thirty-Five
Years after Independence……………………………….. 77

Chapter 6
Debunking the Myths, Resuscitating
the Discipline: The Future of Social
Anthropology in Zimbabwe…………………………….. 91

Chapter 7
Conclusion……………………………………………… 109

References……………………………………………... 113
iii
iv Chapter 1

Anthropology, Society, and Change in
Conversation


Knowledge of anthropology enables us to look with greater freedom at the
1problems confronting our civilisation (Franz Uri Boas 1928)


The scope of anthropology

The question on what anthropology really is and is not is
notoriously complex and confusing. Many people, even some
students of anthropology, when asked this question remain
mum, with some confusing it with its sister discipline of
sociology. This being the case, it is more important than not to
clarify to our readers what anthropology is and is not, right
from the outset.

1 Franz Uri Boas was a German-American anthropologist and a
pioneer of modern anthropology who is now considered as the “Father of
American Anthropology”. Though Boas became an anthropologist by
occupation after his expedition to the Eskimo country, he was a physicist
by training as he graduated with a PhD in physics from the University of
Kiel (German) in 1881. Boas was one of the most prominent opponents of
the then popular ideologies of scientific racism, the idea that race is a
biological concept and that human behaviour is best understood through
the typology of biological characteristics. In a series of ground studies of
skeletal anatomy he showed that cranial shape and size was highly malleable
depending on environmental factors such as health and nutrition, in
contrast to the claims by racial anthropologists of the day that held head
shape to be a stable racial trait. Boas also worked to demonstrate that
differences in human behaviour are not primarily determined by innate
biological dispositions, but are largely a result of cultural differences
acquired through social learning.
1