Power, Practice and Performance in the South African Rural Periphery
Author: P. A. McAllister
This book is a part of the Ritual Studies Monograph Series.The consumption of indigenous beer is a widespread and long-standing feature of many African societies, a practice of both historical and contemporary significance. Among the rural, Xhosa-speaking people of South Africa's Eastern Cape province, maize beer became increasingly important in the context of early twentieth century colonialism, and a range of new beer drinking rituals developed. This coincided with state neglect of black rural areas and with economic and demographic changes that led to the emergence of co-operative relations within neighbourhood groups as a vital element of homestead production.With the entrenchment of the apartheid regime from the late 1940s onward, the maintenance of a rural homestead, agricultural practices, and an agrarian lifestyle became one way to resist the injustices of apartheid and fuller incorporation into the wider society. In this respect, beer rituals became a crucial mechanism through which to develop and maintain rural social and economic relations, to inculcate the values that supported these, and to provide a viable though fragile view of the world that afforded an alternative to the disillusionment and suffering associated with black urban areas. Using an anthropological analysis based on a combination of Bourdieu's practice theory with the anthropology of performance, this book demonstrates the way beer drinking rituals worked towards these aims, the various types of rituals that developed, and how they sought to instill a rural Xhosa habitus in the face of almost overwhelming odds.
Business Models for Sustainability breaks new ground by combining three important insights. First, achieving sustainability requires socio-technical transitions that entail new technologies, production processes, lifestyles, and consumption patterns. Second, firms play crucial roles in mediating between sustainable production and consumption. Third, radical innovations require organizational innovations and new business models. Peter Wells successfully combines these big picture ideas with rich in-depth case studies drawing on years of accumulated expertise. Highly recommended. Frank W. Geels, University of Manchester, UK and Chairman of the Sustainability Transitions Research Network With increasing awareness that innovative technology alone is insufficient to make sustainable lifestyles a reality, this book brings into sharp focus the need to create radical new business models. This insightful book provides a theoretically grounded but also realistic account of how the design of business models can be a critical component in the overall transition to sustainability, and one that transcends the usual focus on innovative technology. Weaving together key principles and components for business sustainability, the book highlights five very different pathways to the future for sectors ranging from microbreweries and printing through to clothing, mobility and plastics. Business has only just started the first few tentative steps towards a very different approach to creating and sustaining value, but this book concludes that enormous opportunities will emerge alongside new ways of creating and capturing value. Academics and postgraduate students in the fields of sustainable business, business organisations and industrial ecology will find this book brings a greater understanding of business strategy and structure to the discipline. While traditionally referenced and structured, this academic book is accessibly written with key principles that may also appeal to the consultant community.
Matrilineages, Making Place, and a Melanesian Christianity in Southeast Solomon Islands
Author: Michael W. Scott
Part of the Ritual Studies Monograph Series Examining the secretive dynamics of competing land claims among the Arosi of the island of Makira (Solomon Islands), Michael W. Scott demonstrates the explanatory power of ethnographic attention to the nexus between practice and indigenous theories of being. His focus on the ways in which Arosi understand their matrilineages to be the bearers of discrete categorical essences exclusively emplaced in ancestral territories forms the basis for a timely and accessible rethink of current anthropological representations of Melanesian sociality and opens up new lines of inquiry into the transformative relationships among gendered metaphors of descent, processes of place making, and the indigenization of Christianity. Informed by original historical research and newly documented variants of regionally important mythic traditions, The Severed Snake is a work of multidisciplinary scope that proposes critical and methodological shifts relevant to historians, development professionals, folklorists, and scholars of religion as well as anthropologists.
Part of the Ritual Studies Monograph Series Resisting State Iconoclasm Among the Loma of Guinea is an anthropological study of a West African people's ongoing commitment to a specific religious tradition that involves both secrecy and public ritual.Loma secret religious practice appears to have been relatively unaffected by a long-term suppression, including the exposure of secrecy, by the postcolonial authorities. In recent years the famous male ritual association known as Poro has even taken on new significance in the context of political upheaval in the war-torn border area between Guinea and Liberia. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and regional comparative research, the study not only provides a detailed account of hitherto unknown ritual practices in the Upper Guinea forest and coastal region. It also challenges recurring claims about the political role of secret societies in this part of West Africa.The retention of "tradition" in the face of "change" is of central analytical concern to Resisting State Iconoclasm. Against presentist accounts of persistent culture, Hjbjerg argues that an adequate explanation of Loma religious resilience requires a composite approach addressing both the political dynamics of the studied area and the cognitive and relational processes involved in the transmission of religious and ritual tradition. The result of this approach serves as background for a critical engagement with current theories of the successful, enduring distribution of cultural ideas and practices.
The witch is a uniquely powerful image in Western society. It is a symbol alternately vilified, ridiculed and idealised by differing sectors of society and is a powerful symbol in Western mythology. This book traces the evolution of the modern representations of Witchcraft and Paganism from the popular imaginings of witchcraft in 16th-century England to their contemporary manifestations amongst neo-Pagan and Wiccan religious movements in America, Australia and Great Britain today. Tracing how this symbol is continually constructed and reconstructed by the neo-Pagan movement is indicative of broader social, political and cultural issues arising out of the interaction of Romantic and Enlightenment epistemes in Western society. Central to this process is the locating of representations of witchcraft within the twin discourses of romanticism and enlightenment modernity. Beginning with the aftermath of the English witch hunting craze of the 17th century, the book examines how the witch transformed from a symbol of ridicule during the enlightenment to an idealised symbol of romantic rebellion which led to its systemic adoption by romantic religious and political movements. Along the path it examines the development of the neo-Pagan movement from 19th-century Romantic pagan revivals, to Gardners Wiccan movement, the sixties counter culture, the rise of eco-feminist neo-Paganism and the contemporary phenomena of "teen witches" and pop commercialization.
The topic of religious and ritual change, including conversion from one modality of practices to another, has emerged in recent years as a prime focus of scholarly attention in anthropology and related disciplines, such as history, sociology, political science and religious studies. Conversion to Christianity is one focus that has developed within this broad and dynamic field of investigations. This edited volume is a unique set of studies that explores this field further, with a doubly innovative approach. First, the chapters represent a collaboration of leading scholars from Taiwan and from the USA and Europe. Second, the studies involve a comparative dimension, juxtaposing work done among indigenous Austronesian minorities in Taiwan and work done in the Pacific Islands (Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands). Within this collection of essays, common processes of change are evident, while the importance of specific histories is revealed, and analytical and theoretical issues are probed and reviewed in ways that demonstrate their relevance to the overall dimensions of comparison. No other work in this arena of study has brought together scholars with such a comparative framework in mind. This volume is relevant for scholars and students of religious change generally, as well as those readers who are interested in the wider Asia-Pacific region, minority groups, Christianity, indigenous movements, and the socialization of the ritual body in contexts of historical and cosmological change.
Part of the Ritual Studies Monograph Series, this book examines longstanding debates in the anthropology of religion concerning the connections between ritual and meaning, belief, politics, emotion, development, and gender. But it examines these old topics from a radically new perspective: that of the cognitive science of religion. As such the volume identifies potential solutions to established problems but it also sets out a program for future research in the field. The volume includes a substantial introduction from Harvey Whitehouse and James Laidlaw who highlight the connections between key issues in the history of religious anthropology and the latest findings of scientific psychology. This volume, they argue, presents us with potential solutions to old problems but also with a series of new and exciting challenges.