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The Politics of Distinction: African Elites from Colonialism to Liberation in a Namibian Frontier Town

The Politics of Distinction: African Elites from Colonialism to Liberation in a Namibian Frontier Town

Insightful ethnography: The Politics of distinction, African elites from colonialism to liberation in Rundu, a Namibian frontier town.
Fumanti, Mattia
14045
9789991642291
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Title: The Politics of Distinction
Subtitle: African Elites from Colonialism to Liberation in a Namibian Frontier Town
Author: Mattia Fumanti
Genre: Current Affairs
Publisher: UNAM Press
Windhoek, Namibia 2016
ISBN 9789991642291
Softcover, 17 x 24 cm, 311 pages, some b/w photos

About: The Politics of Distinction: African Elites from Colonialism to Liberation in a Namibian Frontier Town

The generating of moral publics in urban Africa is increasingly recognized as crucial to the political, economic and social future of the whole continent. The Politics of Distinction: African Elites from Colonialism to Liberation in a Namibian Frontier Town analyses that emergent process in Namibia. It aims to disclose the creative force of everyday rhetoric and practice in Rundu, a middle-range Namibian town located on the border between Namibia and Angola.

Although there are countless such towns across Africa, their study has largely been neglected by anthropologists and other experts, preoccupied with the problem of Africa while being blind to much urban change in everyday public life. The social history of Rundu opens a window on the way successive generations of elites mediate relations between the hinterland and the capital, and how generational relations between these elites shape and are reshaped during this critical juncture of transition from apartheid and civil war to independence and post-independence.

In examining the transition, the book illuminates post-apartheid issues in Southern Africa as they have come to be reflected in public debates about the state, citizenship, governance and the role of ethnic and settler minorities. By pursuing the moral agency of elites over three generations, the book counters an over-generalized view of postcolonial African states as weak, indeed often failing, overwhelmed by Kafkaesque bureaucracies. In these states, the Thievery Corporations' of the African Excellencies' and their cronies are literally calling the shots', ruling through authoritarian methods and corrupt practices, pillaging the economies and planning genocides.

Content: The Politics of Distinction: African Elites from Colonialism to Liberation in a Namibian Frontier Town

Introduction
From colonialism to liberation
Rundu. A frontier town
he politics of distinction

Leadership, passion and morality
The liberation elite
Building public life in post-apartheid Rundu
Sacralizing education
Rituals of distinction in post-apartheid Namibia
After liberation: the youth elite
Inheriting an establishment
The youth elite and intergenerational dialectics
The Shinyewile Club
Networks, social capital and the pursuit of distinction
Youthful palindromes
Straddling the rural-urban divide

Exchange and civility
Conclusion
Epilogue Back to the future
Old and new elites twenty years after independence
References
Index


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