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Facing two ways : Ghana's coastal communities under colonial rule /
Roger S. Gocking.
Lanham, Md. : University Press of America, 1999.
xiii, 313 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.
More Details
Lanham, Md. : University Press of America, 1999.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-01-01:
Arguing that coastal society in colonial Ghana faced two ways, Gocking examines how African actors selectively fused African and European legal principles and cultural practices, manipulating new opportunities for maximum advantage. His multilayered book explores divergent interests that divided the "better" from the "poorer" classes, literate Christians from illiterate non-Christians, and men from women. Focusing particularly on the political and judicial systems, he demonstrates how these systems were constituted and reconstituted according to diverse and competing African and European interests. An initial period of European cultural assimilation was followed by a revival and "reinvention" of African cultural traditions and institutions that coincided with the imposition of indirect rule. With marriage, property, and inheritance laws in flux, women and men attempted to choose those practices that were most advantageous to them. Gocking's dynamic portrayal of coastal society deepens the understanding of the conflicts and compromises that together made colonial Ghana. It is an essential addition to all college and university libraries. Graduate, faculty. E. S. Schmidt; Loyola College in Maryland
Review Quotes
Gocking's dynamic portrayal of coastal society deepens the understanding of the conflicts and compromises that together made colonial Ghana. It is an essential addition to all college and university libraries.>>>>
...this book is warmly recommended to anyone with an interest in the history, and especially the Western representation, of this still-troubled and troubling land.>>>>
This book will primarily interest specialists in Senegambian history, who will find interesting data on agriculture, craft production, slavery, and the famine of 1913-14.>>>>
This is a very valuable contribution to knowledge and is enlivened by a series of wonderful photographs, many of which have been published for the first time.>>>>
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2000
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Long Description
Facing Two Ways explores the interaction between European and African cultures within the setting of Ghana's main coastal communities. Roger S. Gocking focuses on the emergence of a distinctive ethno-cultural constellation that arose from the interaction between African and European cultures and between African cultures in the heterogeneous social setting of the coast. He recognizes nationalism as the most visible, but not necessarily the most important feature of life in coastal Africa from the late nineteenth century through the 1940's. Instead, Gocking emphasizes local initiatives in shaping African reactions to the colonial situation, including the policies of the mission churches, the operation of the judicial system, political life, and the institution of the family. He also discusses the escalation of cross fertilization of African cultures, known as the "Akanization" of the Southern Ghana area indirectly caused by colonialism.
Table of Contents
List of Photographs
List of Abbreviations
Coastal Society: An Introductionp. 1
The Making of Coastal Societyp. 23
Nineteenth-Century Coastal Society: The Limits of Creolizationp. 53
Marriage and Inheritance: Facing Difficult Choicesp. 87
Indirect Rule Versus Municipal Governmentp. 113
Competition for Traditional Officep. 149
Linking Two Political Culturesp. 177
Linking Different Judicial Traditionsp. 219
Linking Different Legal Systemsp. 249
Conclusionp. 279
Glossaryp. 285
Selected Bibliographyp. 287
Indexp. 303
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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