Hierarchy, Dependency, and Gender in Central Mauritania
AUTHOR: Ruf, Urs Peter and Ruf, Urs
PUBLISHER: Transcript Verlag
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The book addresses several themes central to the institution of slavery in Mauritania: Approaching Slavery in Bizan society; Slave Women; The Demography of Western Saharan Slavery; Gender and Status in the Topography of Work; and Bizan Land Tenure and Social Stratification.
This study is far from all encompassing. Its intention is to unravel perspectives on Bizan slavery that until now have remained largely ignored. Its leitmotif is that it is the points of view of the oppressed which need to be made explicit, and which have to be contrasted with those representations of the social order provided by the discourses of the dominant strata. Such a perspective allows one to discern what makes up lines of conflict in a society and how these are maintained, shifted, or overcome. Social hierarchy in the light of such an analysis is free from the certain taste of social consent that commonsense definitions of difference in society tend to suggest and which the powerful like to maintain.
This book aims to describe the slave experience from a grassroots perspective. It wants to give the oppressed a voice, and to provide a forum where both their dignity and humiliation canbe expressed. Indeed slaves resisted their masters, developed strategies to enlarge their autonomy, and much more, while still living under the threats resulting from their slave estate.
PUBLICATION DATE: 3/1/2001
CATEGORY: History, Political Science, Social Science