Ambiguous Pleasures: Sexuality and Middle Class Self-perception in Nairobi

Ambiguous Pleasures: Sexuality and Middle Class Self-perception in Nairobi

By: Rachel Spronk (author)Paperback

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Among both male and female young urban professionals in Nairobi, sexuality is a key to achieving a 'modern' identity. These young men and women see themselves as the avant garde of a new Africa, while they also express the recurring worry of how to combine an 'African' identity with the new lifestyles with which they are experimenting. By focusing on public debates and their preoccupations with issues of African heritage, gerontocratic power relations and conventional morality on the one hand, and personal sexual relationships, intimacy and self-perceptions on the other, this study works out the complexities of sexuality and culture in the context of modernity in an African society. It moves beyond an investigation of a health or development perspective of sexuality and instead examines desire, pleasure and eroticism, revealing new insights into the methodology and theory of the study of sexuality within the social sciences. Sexuality serves as a prism for analysing how social developments generate new notions of self in postcolonial Kenya and is a crucial component towards understanding the way people recognize and deal with modern changes in their personal lives.

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About Author

Laurent Dousset is Associate Professor at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) and is director of the CREDO (Centre for Research and Documentation on Oceania) in Marseilles. He has done research in Aboriginal Australia and has also developed several IT knowledge systems for the social sciences. He is currently preparing the biography of an Aboriginal woman. Serge Tcherkezoff is Professor of Anthropology at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris-Marseille. With Maurice Godelier and Pierre Lemonnier, he founded the CREDO (Centre for Research and Documentation on Oceania), a research unit member of CNRS, EHESS and the University of Provence and is currently organising an EHESS Branch at the Australian National University.


List of Tables and Figures Introduction Laurent Dousset and Serge Tcherkezoff Chapter 1. Some Things You Say, Some Things You Dissimulate, and Some Things You Keep To Yourself: Linguistic and Material Exchange in the Construction of Melanesian Societies Joel Robbins Chapter 2. The Enigma of Christian Conversion: Exchange and the Emergence of New Great Men among the Maisin of Papua New Guinea John Barker Chapter 3. Alienating the Inalienable: Marriage and Money in a Big-man Society Polly Wiessner Chapter 4. Anthropology and the Future of Sexuality Studies: An Essay in Honour of Maurice Godelier Gilbert Herdt Chapter 5. Material and Immaterial Relations: Gender, Rank and Christianity in Vanuatu Margaret Jolly Chapter 6. The Making of Chiefs: Hereditary Succession, Personal Agency and Exchange in North Mekeo Chiefdoms Mark S. Mosko Chapter 7. What is left out in Kinship Robert H. Barnes Chapter 8. Maurice Godelier and the Asiatic Mode Jack Goody Chapter 9. The Dialectic of Cosmopolitanization and Indigenization in the Contemporary World System: Contradictory Configurations of Class and Culture Jonathan Friedman Publications by Maurice Godelier Notes on the Contributors Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 01/10/2014
  • ISBN13: 9781782385301
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 322
  • ID: 9781782385301
  • weight: 435
  • ISBN10: 1782385304

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