Social Control in an African Society: A Study of the Arusha: Agricultural Masai of Northern Tanganyika. African Studies Program, Boston University

Social Control in an African Society: A Study of the Arusha: Agricultural Masai of Northern Tanganyika. African Studies Program, Boston University

Social Control in an African Society: A Study of the Arusha: Agricultural Masai of Northern Tanganyika. African Studies Program, Boston University

Social Control in an African Society: A Study of the Arusha: Agricultural Masai of Northern Tanganyika. African Studies Program, Boston University

Excerpt

In 1956, as research sociologist for the Government of Tanganyika, I was requested to make an investigation into the economic, social and administrative problems which had arisen in the country of the Arusha people, as the result of an increasingly acute shortage of agricultural land and the comparative slowness of economic development. These matters had come to be a matter of serious concern to the Government because of its general responsibility and the threatening unrest among the people. The Arusha had been protesting to the Government about the great severity of the land shortage, and unverified claims were being made that hundreds of families were without land in this entirely rural society. Not only did the Arusha consider it the duty of the Government to help them in their modern and novel plight; but many of them believed that this duty was imperative because it was the policies of the Government in the past which had prevented their natural expansion of agricultural settlement into the adjacent lands. Those lands were now either controlled forest, or farms occupied by foreigners. It was my task to discover the nature and extent of the land problem, to report on the attitudes and ideas of the Arusha, to relate all this to their social life and traditions, and to suggest steps which would alleviate the situation.

Field-work began in August 1956, and continued with minor breaks until May 1958. The first part of this period was devoted primarily to land and economic matters, including demography, land tenure, agriculture and the recent history of settlement. Necessarily this involved some concern with virtually every aspect of Arusha social life, and therefore a general ethnographic survey was made; but it was possible in the later part of the field-work period to concentrate on certain features of the social system of the Arusha which seemed to be of particular importance and interest, and going beyond purely economic considerations. My account of . . .

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