Originally published in 1986, this urban political ethnography focusses on Mushin, a large suburb of metropolitan Lagos, Nigeria. It explores the mechanisms which bridge the various social categories to bring about political interaction. The book traces the development of Mushin from a collection of rural villages to its full status as a political community. It analyses structures and processes and the ways in which, since the 19th century, the system has responded to colonial, civilian and military regimes. It examines the tactics ordinary people use to meet their needs and the ways in which political aspirants manipulate the system to acquire and wield power.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. The Making of Mushin 3. Land and Housing as Sources of Power 4. The Residential Basis of Leadership 5. The Chieftaincy System 6. The Consolidation of Leadership 7. The Role of Factions in the Struggle for Power 8. The Institutionalisation of Power 9. Conclusions
Sandra T. Barnes is Secretary of the American Council of Learned Societies. She is Professor of Anthropology and Founding Director of the African Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of three books and numerous articles.
...'a masterly and fascinating book which deserves wide readership...' Journal of African History
...'the book offers an insight into a number of subjects of modern African history...' African Affairs