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Anthropology

By James Howard Smith

These days, improvement conjures up scant belief within the West. For critics who condemn centralized efforts to devise African societies as latter day imperialism, such plans too heavily mirror their roots in colonial rule and neoliberal economics. yet proponents of this pessimistic view usually forget about how major this idea has turn into for Africans themselves. In Bewitching Development, James Howard Smith offers an in depth ethnographic account of the way humans within the Taita Hills of Kenya have appropriated and made feel of improvement proposal and perform, targeting the complicated ways in which improvement connects with altering understandings of witchcraft.

Similar to magic, development’s promise of a higher international elicits either wish and suspicion from Wataita. Smith indicates that the unexpected adjustments wrought via development—greater wealth for a few, dashed hopes for plenty of more—foster ethical debates that Taita humans exhibit in occult phrases. by way of conscientiously chronicling the ideals and activities of this diversified community—from annoyed youths to nostalgic seniors, duplicitous preachers to thought-provoking witch doctors—BewitchingDevelopment vividly depicts the social lifetime of previously international principles and practices in postcolonial Africa.

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Bewitching Development: Witchcraft and the Reinvention of Development in Neoliberal Kenya (Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning) by James Howard Smith


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