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Other titles in the Body, Commodity, Text: Studies of Objectifying Practice series:
The Haya Lived World-PB (Body, Commodity, Text)by Brad Weiss
Synopses & Reviews
At the center of this subtle ethnographic account of the Haya communities of Northwest Tanzania is the idea of a lived world as both the product and the producer of everyday practices. Drawing on his experience living with the Haya, Brad Weiss explores Haya ways of constructing and inhabiting their community, and examines the forces that shape and transform these practices over time. In particular, he shows how the Haya, a group at the fringe of the global economy, have responded to the processes and material aspects of money, markets, and commodities as they make and remake their place in a changing world.
Grounded in a richly detailed ethnography of Haya practice, Weissandrsquo;s analysis considers the symbolic qualities and values embedded in goods and transactions across a wide range of cultural activity: agricultural practice and food preparation, the bodyandrsquo;s experience of epidemic disease from AIDS to the infant affliction of andldquo;plastic teeth,andrdquo; and long-standing forms of social movement and migration. Weiss emphasizes how Haya images of consumption describe the relationship between their local community and the global economy. Throughout, he demonstrates that particular commodities and more general market processes are always material and meaningful forces with the potential for creativity as well as disruption in Haya social life. By calling attention to the productive dimensions of this spatial and temporal world, his work highlights the importance of human agency in not only the Haya but any sociocultural order.
Offering a significant contribution to the anthropological theories of practice, embodiment, and agency, and enriching our understanding of the lives of a rural African people, The Making and Unmaking of the Haya Lived World will interest historians, anthropologists, ethnographers, and scholars of cultural studies.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -245) and index.
About the Author
“The strength of this book lies in its brilliant demonstration that local contexts of practical life and quotidian experience—understood in terms of embodiment, agency, and non–discursive form—may constitute grounds for understanding such global issues as epidemic disease, commoditization, symbolic capital, and the discourse of nationalism.”—Michael Jackson, Indiana University
“This is an important ethnography, beautifully written and tightly conceived. It offers stunning ethnographic material and important theoretic reframings of exchange practices. Weiss establishes, the value of a person-centered, historically situated African ethnography and sets a new standard for clarity of exposition of complex contemporary issues in these terms.”—Debbora Battaglia, Mount Holyoke College
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History and Social Science » Africa » Tanzania