Schism and Continuity in an African Society: A Study of Ndembu Village Life

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Overview

A reprint of the seminal anthropological work of the 1960s.
Originally published by Manchester University Press.

Victor Turbaner will be remembered as the anthropologist who developed the concept of the ‘social drama’, a method used extensively by anthropologists to describe and analyse the social life of a community. In essence, this technique involves analysing social crises within a community over a period of time in order to gain a better understanding of the key principles that govern the social life of the community.

This book — Turbaner's first ‘social drama’ study — focuses on the village life of the Ndembu of Zambia who were then under British rule. The social constraints, such as the matrilineally-inherited headmanship system, and the various releases from these constraints, provoked periodic crises which caused great disruption and pain. These crises made visible the contradictions between the principles governing social life and the conflicts experienced between individuals and groups when enforcing these principles. Seven social dramas are discussed - all from one family over a period of twenty years — each substantiated by sociological and demographic research.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859731109
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 8/1/1996
  • Series: Classic Reprint Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.68 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Victor Turbaner is formerly of the University of Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the 1996 Edition
Preface to the 1972 Edition
Preface to the 1968 Edition
Preface to the 1957 Edition
Acknowledgements
I Historical and Ecological Background 1
II The Village: Topography and Demography 34
III The Social Composition of the Village 61
IV Matrilineal Descent : The Basic Principle of Village Organization 82
V Matrilineal Succession and the Dynamics of Village Intrigue 131
VI Village Fission, Slavery and Social Change 169
VII Varieties of Village Fission 204
VIII The Structural Implications of Virilocal Marriage within the Village 234
IX Political Aspects of Kinship and Affinity 258
X The Politically Integrative Function of Ritual 288
XI The Chieftainship 318
XII Postscript 328
Bibliography 332
Index 337
Appendices
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