Indigenous Elites in Africa : The Case of Kenya's Maasai book cover
1st Edition

Indigenous Elites in Africa
The Case of Kenya's Maasai

ISBN 9781032025766
Published November 30, 2021 by Routledge
202 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book investigates the formation, configuration and consolidation of elites amongst Kenya’s Maasai.

The Maasai ethnic group is one of the world’s most anthropologized populations, but research tends to focus on what appears to be their dismal situation, analysing how their culture hinders or challenges modern ideas of economic and political development. This book instead focuses on the Maasai men and women who rise to the position of elites, overcoming the odds to take on positions as politicians, professors, CEOs, and high-end administrators. The twenty-first century has seen new opportunities for progression beyond the social reproduction of family wealth, with NGOs, missionaries, tourists and researchers providing new sources of global capital flows. The author, who is Maasai herself, demonstrates the diverse local, national, and global resources and opportunities which lead to social mobility and elite formation. The book also shows how female elites have been able to navigate a patriarchal society in their journey to attaining and maintaining elite status.

This book will be of interest to researchers across the fields of anthropology, political science, international development, sociology, and African studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Chapter1. Maasai Historicity  Chapter2. Global Capital Flows  Chapter3. Religion as Elite Capital  Chapter4. Gender and Elite Formation  Chapter5. Education as Capital in Elite Construction: The symbolism, prestige, and security of higher education  Chapter6. Elite Agencies and Challenges  Conclusion

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Serah Shani is Associate Professor, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Mercy College New York, USA. She is also author of African Immigrant Families in the United States: Transnational Lives and Schooling.