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The Politics of Joking Relationships in Burkina Faso
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2006 (English)In: Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, ISSN 1745-3674, Vol. 131, no 2, 197-214 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The paper deals with traditional joking relationships and how these are expressed socio-politically in different contexts in present-day Burkina Faso. Yet while classical anthropological writings on joking relationships provided more or less functionalist explanatory models, such a functionalist bias is alive and well in academic and popular writings, as well as in the discourse of intellectuals in Burkina. I examine two different contexts of joking relationships between different ethnic groups, especially in the context of political violence. The first context is the joking relationship between blacksmiths and Fulbe as articulated in the many outbreaks of violence that have occurred in western parts of the country since the 1980s between Fulbe agro-pastoralists and local groups of farmers. The second context is that of national politics where joking relationships are used in national political discourse. Throughout the paper I will argue that the institution of joking relationship cannot be understood merely as a curious remnant of the past but must be located in present-day national political culture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 131, no 2, 197-214 p.
Keyword [en]
Blacksmiths, Burkina Faso, Fulbe, Joking relationship, Political culture
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-22621ISI: 000243268000006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-22621DiVA: diva2:50394
Available from: 2007-01-19 Created: 2007-01-19 Last updated: 2016-04-27

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Hagberg, Sten

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