Custom and Conflict in Africa

Custom and Conflict in Africa

Custom and Conflict in Africa

Custom and Conflict in Africa

Excerpt

I gave these six lectures on the Third Programme of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the spring of 1955. After some deliberation, I have decided to publish them exactly as I delivered them.I was tempted to write an introduction and conclusion, and to insert at several points further illustrations which, by their significant variation, would have strengthened my main argument. But I have decided that once I began to amend a text which was prepared for broadcasting, I should have begun on the writing of a different kind of book. Enough listeners have written to ask me if the lectures were going to be published to justify their appearance as I delivered them. Therefore I have not even tried to define the two key concepts of my argument, 'conflict' and 'cohesion', since I hoped their meaning would emerge as I discussed them. I have only added a reading list of English books.

My first teacher in anthropology, Mrs. A. W. Hoernlé, planted the key idea of my argument in my mind in Johannesburg in 1931, when we were trying to understand the ceremonies which Zulu women performed to their goddess Nomkubulwana (Lecture 5).Since then I have seen it developed, or implicit, in the works of many of my colleagues -- those who have worked outside Africa, as well as those who have worked within it, those whom I have quoted, and those on whom I have indirectly drawn. To them all, I

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