Race and Ethnicity: Essays in Comparative Sociology

By Pierre L. Van den Berghe | Go to book overview

5
Toward a Sociology
of Africa

In borrowing the phrase "Sociology of Africa" from Georges Balandier, 1 I do not imply that Africa, because of its idiosyncracies, requires the development of a special brand of sociology. Rather, like Balandier, Gluckman, Mitchell, Kuper, Godfrey and Monica Wilson, and others, 2 I should like to suggest that African societies, through their pluralism and rapid rate of change, challenge much of conventional structural and functional anthropology and sociology and call for a more adequate approach. Elsewhere, I indicated some limitations of functionalism and the possibility of reaching a more satisfactory synthesis by combining elements of functionalism and of the Hegelian-Marxian dialectic. 3

Here, I shall illustrate some theoretical conclusions and suggestions with special reference to South Africa. Although South Africa is anything but typical of the continent, much of the following analysis is more broadly applicable.

Two sets of problems will be dealt with in turn: first, pluralism, and second, change. The term "plural society" was given currency by Furnivall, who identified it with tropical societies, and is now being used so freely as to cover any group which is not culturally and socially homogeneous. 4 Smith reacts against this

____________________
Reprinted from Social Forces 43 ( 1964): 11-18.

-79-

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Race and Ethnicity: Essays in Comparative Sociology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 3
  • Notes 17
  • Part I - General and Theoretical 19
  • 1 - Paternalistic Versus Competitive Race Relations: an Ideal-Type Approach 21
  • Notes 39
  • 2 - Distance Mechanisms of Stratification 42
  • 3 - Hypergamy, Hypergenation, and Miscegenation 54
  • Summary 63
  • Notes 63
  • 4 - Racialism and Assimilation in Africa and the Americas 68
  • Notes 77
  • 5 - Toward a Sociology of Africa 79
  • Part II - The Americas 95
  • 6 - Stereotypes, Norms, and Interracial Behavior in São Paulo, Brazil 97
  • Notes 105
  • 7 - Ethnic Relations in Southeastern Mexico 107
  • 8 - Ethnic Membership and Cultural Change in Guatemala 137
  • Conclusion 149
  • Notes 150
  • Part III - South Africa 153
  • 9 - Research in South Africa: The Story of My Experiences with Tyranny 155
  • Notes 171
  • 10 - Apartheid, Fascism, and the Golden Age 173
  • 11 - Race Attitudes in Durban, South Africa 188
  • Summary 206
  • Notes 207
  • 12 - Racial Segregation in South Africa: Degrees and Kinds 210
  • 13 - Miscegenation in South Africa 224
  • Summary 239
  • Notes 241
  • 14 - Language and Nationalism in South Africa 244
  • Part IV - The Indian Diaspora 259
  • 15 - Indians in Natal and Fiji: a "Controlled Experiment" in Culture Contact 261
  • Notes 274
  • 16 - Asians in East and South Africa 276
  • Index 304
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