Expectations of Modernity: Myths and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambian Copperbelt

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Overview


"With Expectations of Modernity James Ferguson has once more made an important contribution to the reconstruction of anthropology. His own vivid ethnography of urban lives in the late twentieth century offers new understandings of culture and cosmopolitanism, while his sense of the wider picture helps us see Africa, in a difficult period, as the continent which contemporary globalization rhetoric conveniently forgets. This is contemporary anthropology of the most relevant, responsible and intellectually sophisticated kind." —Ulf Hannerz, Stockholm University

"A deeply thoughtful book, written with enormous sensitivity. I much admired Ferguson's very original take on African 'modernity.' His engagement with cultural studies is always informed by a deep historical understanding and an appreciation of economic realities. He connects critically but sympathetically with both his informants and with earlier generations of urban anthropologists. The book is often moving--the hardships of life in this 'abject' postmodern setting are too evident, but the amazing creativity of urban 'citemene' culture is wonderfully described. And Ferguson's account of the fraught, conflictual and sometimes violent nature of gender relations is extremely important. Certainly one of the best books on Africa I have read in recent years, this will be required reading for anthropologists and historians." —Megan Vaughan, Oxford University

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Editorial Reviews

Independent (UK)
[A] moving study.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520217027
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999
  • Series: Perspectives on Southern Africa Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 343
  • Sales rank: 1,168,249
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author


James Ferguson is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, and the author of The Anti-Politics Machine: "Development," Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho (1990). He is also coeditor, with Akhil Gupta, of Anthropological Locations: Boundaries and Grounds of a Field Science (California, 1997) and Culture, Power, Place: Explorations in Critical Anthropology (1997).
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