Catalogue

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Mortgaging the ancestors : ideologies of attachment in Africa /
Parker Shipton.
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2009.
description
xix, 327 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0300116020 (cloth), 9780300116021 (cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2009.
isbn
0300116020 (cloth)
9780300116021 (cloth)
contents note
Introduction -- Sand and gold : some property history and theory -- Luo and others : migration, settlement, ethnicity -- An earthly anchorage : graves and the grounding of belonging -- Birthright and its borrowing : inheritance and land clientage under pressure -- The thin end : land and credit in the colonial period -- The ghost market : land titling and mortgaging after independence -- Nothing more serious : mortgaging and struggles over ancestral land -- Bigger than law : land and constitutionalism -- Conclusion: Property, improperty, and the mortgage.
catalogue key
6685991
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [289]-314) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-04-01:
In this second volume in a proposed trilogy on customary and externally imposed economic arrangements in Africa (vol. 1, The Nature of Entrustment, 2007), Shipton (Boston Univ.) considers land in relation to its traditional cultural, as opposed to contemporary economic, significance. He argues that among the Luo people of Western Kenya, land was conceived of primarily as a matter of attachment to a place and relationships between people, resulting in a profound sense of belonging. He explores the process of registering and deeding land according to Western precepts, which allows for mortgaging and, thus, its possible loss. The detailed chapters demonstrate how this alien ideology and practice have been imposed by colonial and post-colonial agencies as features of aid and development schemes. The result is an erudite but readable analysis of the current situation. In light of the present Euro-American mortgage crisis, this volume's important message should give pause to those who believe this sort of economic system should be visited upon others. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. W. Arens Stony Brook University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"In lithe and lucid prose, Shipton provides a lens through which scholars and students of changing societies may better see and understand the contexts in which they themselves work. Not all books do that." Christian Lund, African Studies Review
"In lithe and lucid prose, Shipton provides a lens through which scholars and students of changing societies may better see and understand the contexts in which they themselves work. Not all books do that."--Christian Lund,African Studies Review
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 2009
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This title looks briefly at European and North American theories on private property and the mortgage, then shows how these theories have played out as attempted economic reforms in Africa.
Main Description
This fascinating interdisciplinary book is about land, belonging, and the mortgageand how people of different cultural backgrounds understand them in Africa. Drawing on years of ethnographic observation, Parker Shipton discusses how people in Africa's interior feel about their attachment to family, to clan land, and to ancestral graves on the land. He goes on to explain why systems of property, finance, and mortgaging imposed by outsiders threaten Africa's rural people. The book looks briefly at European and North American theories on private property and the mortgage, then shows how these theories have played out as attempted economic reforms in Africa. They affect not just personal ownership and possession, he suggests, but also the complex relationships that add up to civil order and episodic disorder over a longer history. Focusing particular attention on the Luo people of Kenya, Shipton challenges assumptions about rural economic development and calls for a broader understanding of local realities in Africa and beyond.
Main Description
This fascinating interdisciplinary book is about land, belonging, and the mortgage--and how people of different cultural backgrounds understand them in Africa. Drawing on years of ethnographic observation, Parker Shipton discusses how people in Africa's interior feel about their attachment to family, to clan land, and to ancestral graves on the land. He goes on to explain why systems of property, finance, and mortgaging imposed by outsiders threaten Africa's rural people. The book looks briefly at European and North American theories on private property and the mortgage, then shows how these theories have played out as attempted economic reforms in Africa. They affect not just personal ownership and possession, he suggests, but also the complex relationships that add up to civil order and episodic disorder over a longer history. Focusing particular attention on the Luo people of Kenya, Shipton challenges assumptions about rural economic development and calls for a broader understanding of local realities in Africa and beyond.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Sand and Gold: Some Property History and Theoryp. 23
Luo and Others: Migration, Settlement, Ethnicityp. 59
An Earthly Anchorage: Graves and the Grounding of Belongingp. 85
Birthright and Its Borrowing: Inheritance and Land Clientage Under Pressurep. 109
The Thin End: Land and Credit in the Colonial Periodp. 130
The Ghost Market: Land Titling and Mortgaging After Independencep. 148
Nothing More Serious: Mortgaging and Struggles over Ancestral Landp. 160
Bigger than Law: Land and Constitutionalismp. 201
Conclusion: Property, Improperty, and the Mortgagep. 223
Notesp. 255
Bibliographyp. 289
Indexp. 315
Illustrations follow p. 73
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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