The Politics of Egalitarianism: Theory and Practice
"Solway does an admirable job in her introduction, describing the three intellectual-cum-activist projects which underlie the collection...Its most significant contribution for those already familiar with the San literature lies in expanding the pool of recent analyses of San identity politics, and in documenting the rise and challenges facing the San-owned and San-oriented NGOs...[it] is also a good reference source for a broader readership seeing an overview of Lee's intellectual legacy and its trajectories." . Anthropos
The essays assembled in this book exemplify the way political anthropologists address a range of problems that deeply affect people throughout the world. The authors draw their inspiration from the work of Canadian anthropologist Richard B. Lee, and, like him, they are concerned with understanding and acting upon issues of "indigenous rights"; the impact of colonialism, postcolonial state formation, and neoliberalism on local communities and cultures; the process of culture change; what the history and politics of egalitarian societies reveal about issues of "human nature" or "social evolution"; and how peoples in southern Africa are affected by and responding to the most recent crisis in their midst, the spread of AIDS. The authors in this volume discuss the state of a range of contemporary debates in the field that in various ways extend the political, theoretical, and empirical issues that have animated Lee's work. In addition, the book provides readers with important contemporary Kalahari studies, as well as "classic" works on foraging societies.
Jacqueline Solway is associate professor of International Development Studies and Anthropology at Trent University.
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