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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Remembering 'The Troubles': Reproductive Insecurity and the Management of Memory in Cameroon
Authors:Feldman-Savelsberg, Pamela
Ndonko, Flavien T.
Song, Yang
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Cameroon
Politics and Government
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Health and Nutrition
Cultural Roles
Ethnic and Race Relations
Fertility and Infertility
Family Planning and Contraception
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3556714
Abstract:The 'time of troubles', a period of a radical nationalist movement and state reprisals sometimes called the Bamileke Rebellion, rocked Cameroon during the years surrounding its independence in 1960. At the time, Bamileke women related their political and economic tribulations to numerous reproductive difficulties. They continue to do so today, linking perceived threats to their ethnic distinctiveness and survival to a sense of reproductive vulnerability. In this paper the authors explore the management of collective memories of the troubles as part of the social and cultural context of reproduction in a high-fertility society. Building upon extensive fieldwork among the Bamileke since the 1980s, they use data from participant observation, interviews, and a two-round social network survey in six Bamileke women's associations in Yaoundé. Envisioned as a complement to a meaning-centred ethnographic approach, the authors are interested in several interrelated aspects of how urban Bamileke women manage their repertoire of memory. First, they explore how the 'time of troubles' and its memories are referenced in women's images of reproductive threat in three periods of Cameroonian history (the troubles themselves, the aftermath of a regime change, and the 'crisis' at the turn to the new millennium). Second, they seek to understand the social structuring of memory in network terms. Who are the carriers of memories of 'the troubles'? And through which social ties are these memories transmitted and negotiated? Finally, drawing upon Mannheim's insights regarding generations and collective memory, they analyse cohort effects on the content of memories. Bibliogr., notes, sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]