Catalogue


The way the world is [electronic resource] : cultural processes and social relations among the Mombasa Swahili /
Marc J. Swartz.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1991.
description
xiii, 350 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520071379 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1991.
isbn
0520071379 (alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8098919
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 331-341) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"There is no other book that covers such material as carefully or as richly as this. . . . Swartz has used his study to advance how we look at a people's culture, make sense of it, and of their lives."--Ronald Cohen, University of Florida
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1992-02:
For more than a decade, Swartz has been publishing on the Swahili of Mombasa. This work, dealing with cultural processes and social relations, is a culmination of many of the themes he has previously explored. Central to this discussion are statuses that he sees as "the core of culture's part in social life" (p.8), and roles rather than the dynamic aspects of a status that are here seen as "a part of a status" (p.147). Equally as important in the learning of culture and resulting cultural uniformity is the concept of shame or "aibu." Swartz explains that there is no English term that specifically represents the dishonor, disgrace, loss of standing, or emotional discomfort represented by the word "aibu." Cultural uniformity depends in part on learning and sharing ideas and in part on peoples' concern with others' evaluations. These elements are illustrated with insightful discussions of Swahili marriage, family, and kinship. Presents a cogent theory of cultural uniformity and one of the clearest insights to date into Swahili culture and society. Of general value to all students of African, Islamic, social, and anthropological subjects.-B. M. du Toit, University of Florida
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 1992
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Summaries
Long Description
Marc Swartz takes us for the first time into the homes and neighborhoods of the Swahili in the East African port of Mombasa. At the same time he develops a new model for the operation and transmission of culture. In asking how cultural elements influence the social behavior of those who do not share them as well as of those who do, Swartz points to the mediation of status. The many types of status available to individuals provide guidelines that help explain, for example, why the broadly shared elements of Swahili culture (Islamic religion or the nuclear family) do not alone translate into behavior.The Way the World Isdemonstrates in a highly original way how culture "works."
Main Description
Marc Swartz takes us for the first time into the homes and neighborhoods of the Swahili in the East African port of Mombasa. At the same time he develops a new model for the operation and transmission of culture. In asking how cultural elements influence the social behavior of those who do not share them as well as of those who do, Swartz points to the mediation of status. The many types of status available to individuals provide guidelines that help explain, for example, why the broadly shared elements of Swahili culture (Islamic religion or the nuclear family) do not alone translate into behavior. The Way the World Isdemonstrates in a highly original way how culture "works."

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