"I am just a Sukuma"

Globalization and Identity Construction in Northwest Tanzania


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Table of contents

1 Culture and identity among the Sukuma
Cultural identity
Relational theory of cultural identity
Reconstructing cultural identity
Created memory as a tool for the reconstruction of cultural identity
A social system based on negotiation
The current past, a helpful phenomenon
Resistance to globalization
2 Origin and growth of Sukuma identity
The historical identity of the Sukuma and the present
The difficulty to discover a cultural paradigm
The pre-colonial fluidity of Sukuma political structures
Sukuma society. An overview of change and reputed tradition
The neighbourhood and the family
Sukuma religious beliefs and practices
Witchcraft in Usukuma
The Sukuma and the cattle mentality
3 The intrusions of colonialism
The misunderstanding of the Sukuma political structure
Indirect rule and the Sukuma
The British presence in Usukuma
The consequences of fixed administrative boundaries
The foundations for a centralized legal system
The shadow of colonialism and the loss of ritual power
No feel for the people. A political and administrative fact
Colonial administration and the range of alternatives
Attempts to stabilize custom in the colonial period
Bureaucracy, development and the Sukuma
Christian missionaries and the recreation of culture
Sukuma, British administrators and nationalist politics
4 The hopes and frustrations of socialist ideology
The effect of independence and its idealism
The establishment and growth of political nuclei
The irritations of civil servant activism in Usukuma
Politicians, administrators and unilineal development
The exclusion of Sukuma peasants from prestige
‘Ujamaa’ and the making of villages in Usukuma
The culture shock of villagization
Women's emerging resistance to male domination
The mass killing of witches and wizards in Usukuma
The extension of a unified legal system to the control of custom
The reassertion of customary law
5 The Sukuma and the ideology of a free market
The privatization of the cotton industry and mineral mining
'Sungusungu' and the coming of a new era
Democracy and the creation of public opinion
AIDS and traditional ways of problem-solving
A free market and the growth of uncontrolled animosities
The growing intrusion of time and money into Sukuma life
The Sukuma 'do-it-yourself religion and modernity
Modernization and the retention of identity
6 Sukuma identity and modernization
The illusion of theoretical model making
The Sukuma paradigm. Some speculative thoughts
Is there a Sukuma identity, or who is a Sukuma?
The recreation of tradition as an ongoing social necessity
Rejection of the fatal impact theory
Sukuma and urban-industrial societies similarities
About the Authors

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