Bewitching Development Witchcraft and the Reinvention of Development in Neoliberal Kenya
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These days, development inspires scant trust in the West. For critics who condemn centralized efforts to plan African societies as latter day imperialism, such plans too closely reflect their roots in colonial rule and neoliberal economics. But proponents of this pessimistic view often ignore how significant this concept has become for Africans themselves. InBewitching Development, James Howard Smith presents a close ethnographic account of how people in the Taita Hills of Kenya have appropriated and made sense of development thought and practice, focusing on the complex ways that development connects with changing understandings of witchcraft. Similar to magic, development's promise of a better world elicits both hope and suspicion from Wataita. Smith shows that the unforeseen changes wrought by developmentgreater wealth for some, dashed hopes for many morefoster moral debates that Taita people express in occult terms. By carefully chronicling the beliefs and actions of this diverse communityfrom frustrated youths to nostalgic seniors, duplicitous preachers to thought-provoking witch doctorsBewitchingDevelopmentvividly depicts the social life of formerly foreign ideas and practices in postcolonial Africa.
List price: $28.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 9/1/2008
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
|Bewitching Development: The Disintegration and Reinvention of Development in Kenya|
|I Still Exist! Taita Historicity|
|Development's Other: Witchcraft as Development through the Looking Glass|
|"Each Household Is a Kingdom": Development and Witchcraft at Home|
|"Dot Com Will Die Seriously!" Spatiotemporal Miscommunication and Competing Sovereignties in Taita Thought and Ritual|
|NGOs, Gender, and the Sovereign Child|
|Democracy Victorious: Exorcising Witchcraft from Development|
|Conclusion: Tempopolitics, Or Why Development Should Not Be Defined as the Improvement of Living Standards|