Stanleyville: An African Urban Community Under Belgian Administration, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


An African Urban Community Under Belgian Administration, 1st Edition

By Valdo Pons


382 pages

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Originally published in 1969, this is a study of the Congolese community of Kinsangani (formerly Stanleyville), as it was in 1952-3 under Belgian administration. It pays particular attention to the tribal heterogeneity of the community, and to the processes of absorption of urban-dwellers who made up substantial proportions of the population. Although by comparison with Kinshasa and Lubambashi, Kisangani was a minor boom-town and by far the largest and most diversified urban centre in a vast and varied region. The book analyses the diversity and growth of the community and traces some of the many social implications for day to day life of ethnic heterogeneity and rapid population increase, developing concepts of cleavage and solidarity in changing urban communities in Southern and Central Africa. It emphasizes similarities as well as differences in the varied patterns and processes of African urbanization.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction

1. Scope and Methodology

Part 2: The Context of Social Relations

2. The Nature of the Town and of its African Community

3. Demographic and Social Selection

4. Ethnic Colonies 5. Immigrants and Differentiated Neighbourhoods

Part 3: The Nature of Social Relations

6. Neighbourhood Relations

7. The Social Relations of Three Men from Avenue 21

8. Relations Between the Sexes

Part 4: Summary and Conclusions

9. Avenue 21 and the Wider Community. Appendices.

About the Series

African Ethnographic Studies of the 20th Century

Routledge is delighted to be re-issuing 79 volumes originally published between 1931 and 1988 in association with the International African Institute. Unavailable outside a few key libraries, many of these republished volumes were at the cutting edge of a fieldwork and ethnographic revolution in African anthropology in the decades after 1930. It involved the production of a wide body of fieldwork-based ethnographic documentation about the cultures of the different societies in Africa. Secondly, it saw a methodological turn to intense, localized investigations of cultural tradition and social change in a rapidly modernizing context. These investigations involved a more sustained and systematic, more professional and ‘scientific’ form of immersion and participant observation, than anything that had gone before. The sites of engagement were urban as well as rural; the pioneering researchers were female as well as male. No longer was the journal essay the repository of the latest research in the discipline, but rich ethnographies running into hundreds of pages.

The volumes are supplemented with maps, which will be available to view on or available as pdfs from the publishers.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies