1st Edition

Manhood and Morality Sex, Violence and Ritual in Gisu Society

By Suzette Heald Copyright 1999
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

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    'An impressive and meticulously crafted African ethnography, which has theoretical and practical relevance for understanding masculinity and violence in general'- David Parkin, Professor of Anthropology, Cambridge University Manhood and Morality explores issues of male identity among the Gisu of Uganda and the moral dilemma faced by men who define themselves by their capacity for violence. Drawing extensively on twenty years of fieldwork and on psychological theory the book covers: circumcision
    Oedipal feelings
    and ethnicity.
    This ethnographic study challenges our preconceptions of manhood, especially African virility, inviting a wider re-evaluation of masculinity.

    1 Introduction 2 The making of men: the relevance of vernacular psychology to the interpretation of a Gisu ritual 3 The ritual use of violence: circumcision among the Gisu of Uganda 4 Every man a hero: Oedipal themes in Gisu circumcision 5 Witches and thieves: deviant motivations in Gisu society 6 Divinatory failure: Gisu diviners and the problem of doubt 7 Joking and avoidance, hostility and incest: an essay on Gisu moral categories 8 The power of sex: reflections on the Caldwells’ ‘African sexuality’ thesis 9 Tribal rites and tribal rights


    Suzette Heald is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Lancaster and is currently teaching at the University of Botswana.

    ' ... The result is a finely engrained ethnography with a great knowledge and attention to the Gisu semanti field, along with the social and cultural ones.' - Cambridge Anthropology