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Paths to Adulthood: Freedom, Belonging, and Temporalities in Mbunda Biographies from Western Zambia
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this study, Michael Barrett explores the relationship between adulthood and historical processes in a rural district of Western Zambia. Approaching the life cycle from a perspective of social practice, the potential and limits of conditioning is illuminated through ethnography and life histories of Mbunda people in Kalabo District of Western Province. Situated between the Zambezi River and the Angolan border, the district suffered harsh economic decline during the last decades of the 20th century, creating a demanding social environment for young people in need of its resources for livelihood, household formation, and marriage. The study traces young people’s life paths in time and space, between urban and rural areas and through the ebb and flow of social relationships. Concerns like male and female initiation, marriage, style, and livelihood are examined and put in the context of longstanding idioms of sociality as well as global influences. Through an historical perspective on social cohorts, the dissertation throws light on the temporal conditions of adulthood facing people in rural Zambia. With a theoretical framework grounded in regional social landscapes and attuned to the realities of particular persons, broader issues like historicity, power, gender and creativity are examined through the prism of adulthood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2004. , 399 p.
Uppsala Studies in Cultural Anthropology, ISSN 0348-5099 ; 38
Keyword [en]
Cultural anthropology, Zambia, Mbunda, youth, gender, social change, migration, urban-rural relations
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4684ISBN: 91-554-6097-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-4684DiVA: diva2:165484
Public defence
2004-12-03, Erik Gustaf Geijersalen, Engelska parken, Humanistiskt centrum, Hus 6, Thunbergsvägen 3P, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2004-11-12 Created: 2004-11-12Bibliographically approved

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