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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Africanist and Islamicist anthropology: empirical and mythological reality
Author:Frantz, CharlesISNI
Periodical:African Anthropology (ISSN 1024-0969)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic term:Africa
Anthropology and Archaeology
Ethnic and Race Relations
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Anthropology, Folklore, Culture
Social and cultural anthropology
Traditional culture
Abstract:A significant proportion of African scholars has held a pessimistic view of anthropology. The present author argues that this was partly a reaction to the fact that anthropology was introduced and mainly practised by Europeans and that its subjects were mostly non-European peoples. Much of the energy put into anticolonial and anti-Western ideological argumentation was spent at the cost of field research and the development of new theories. In recent years, however, a variety of new approaches has emerged, including feminist anthropology, creationism, and evangelical Christian anthropology. The author focuses on two new paradigms, viz. Islamic anthropology and Afrocentrism, and their applicability in Africa. He argues that a basic constraint on the development of an Islamic anthropology is its nonpositivism. The origin of the Afrocentric paradigm goes back to the Negritude and Black Consciousness movements and it has developed over the past two decades both in Africa and in the United States, emphasizing the subjective analysis of black feelings, knowledge and actions. There is little evidence that these two approaches are more than slight reworkings of earlier anthropological paradigms. Whether they will remain almost mythical will depend on the reactivation of broader and more empirical models and methods. Bibliogr.