Violence and Belonging: The Quest for Identity in Post-Colonial Africa, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Violence and Belonging

The Quest for Identity in Post-Colonial Africa, 1st Edition

By Vigdis Broch-Due


272 pages

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pub: 2004-11-25
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Modernization in Africa has created new problems as well as new freedoms. Multiparty democracy, resource privatization and changing wealth relationships, have not always created stable and prosperous communities, and violence continues to be endemic in many areas of African life - from civil war and political strife to violent clashes between genders, generations, classes and ethnic groups.

Violence and Belonging explores the crucial formative role of violence in shaping people's ideas of who they are in uncertain postcolonial contexts where, as resources dwindle and wealth is contested, identities and ideas of belonging become a focal area of conflict and negotiation. Focusing on fieldwork from across the continent, its case studies consider how routine everyday violence ties in with wider regional and political upheavals, and how individuals experience and legitimize violence in its different forms. The Zimbabwean and Sudanese civil wars, Kenyan Kikuyu domestic conflicts, Rwandan massacres and South African Truth and Reconciliation processes, are among the contexts explored.


'Essential reading not only for Africanists but for anyone else interested in understanding the woeful state of today's world.' – Ethnos

Table of Contents

Preface List of Contributors 1. Violence and Sociality Reconsidered: An Introduction 2. 'Nowadays They Can Even Kill You for That Which They Feel is Theirs': Gender and the Production of Ethnic Identity in Kikuyu-Speaking Central Kenya 3. Conflicts in Context: Political Violence and Anthropological Puzzles4. Hunger, Violence and the Moral Economy of War in Zimbabwe 5. Violence and the Boundaries of Belonging: Comparing Two Border Disputes in the South African Lowveld 6. Fertile Moral Links: Reconsidering Barabaig Violence 7. 'Food Itself is Fighting With Us': A Comparative Analysis of the Impact of Sudan's Civil War on South Sudanese Civilian Populations Located in the North and the South8. The Politics of Identity and the Remembrance of Violence and Gender at the Installation of a Female Chief in Zimbabwe9. Double-Voiced Violence in Kenya10. Escape from Genocide: The Politics of Identity in Rwanda's Massacres 11. Women and the Politics of Identity: Voices in the South African Truth and Reconciliation 12. Ambiguous Identities: Notioa of War and 'Significant Others' among the Tigreans of Ethiopia

About the Author

Vigdis Broch-Due is a professor in the Centre for International Poverty Research, University of Bergen, Norway. She has taught at the universities of Washington, Oslo, Cambridge and London, as well as at Rutgers University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural