Bewitching Development

Bewitching Development

Witchcraft and the Reinvention of Development in Neoliberal Kenya

eBook - 2008
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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, asuch plansatoo 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. In "Bewitching 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, developmentOCOs promise of a better world elicits both hope and suspicion from Wataita. Smith shows that the unforeseen changes wrought by developmentOCogreater wealth for some, dashed hopes for many moreOCofoster moral debates that Taita people express in occult terms. By carefully chronicling the beliefs and actions of this diverse communityOCofrom frustrated youths to nostalgic seniors, duplicitous preachers to thought-provoking witch doctorsOCo"Bewitching" "Development" vividly depicts the social life of formerly foreign ideas and practices in postcolonial Africa.
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2008.
ISBN: 9780226764597
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xv, 269 pages) : illustrations.
Additional Contributors: ebrary, Inc


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