By Suzette Heald
'An striking and meticulously crafted African ethnography, which has theoretical and sensible relevance for knowing masculinity and violence in general'- David Parkin, Professor of Anthropology, Cambridge college Manhood and Morality explores problems with male id one of the Gisu of Uganda and the ethical issue confronted via males who outline themselves via their potential for violence. Drawing largely on 20 years of fieldwork and on mental concept the ebook covers: circumcisionOedipal feelingswitchcraftdeviancejokingsexualityand ethnicity.This ethnographic research demanding situations our preconceptions of manhood, specially African virility, inviting a much wider second look of masculinity.
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Extra resources for Manhood and Morality: Sex, Violence and Ritual in Gisu Society
Given the success of the rites in these terms, the question arises as to whether the psychological process and concepts, such as lirima, answer solely to the culturally specific Gisu construction of experience or whether they answer also to a universal experiential base. Given our limited knowledge of psychological processes, enquiry into this latter area can perhaps be seen to involve little more than a process of translation, a seeking of concordances between the terms of vernacular and western psychologies.
Circumcision is fierce and these things with which they smear him give him strength. They are done for the strength of the kumusambwa kw’imbalu (ancestral power of imbalu). People do these things in order to change him into a very fierce person, different from others. He is like another person. He has only the intention to think about imbalu. He feels that his body is cold and so these things show him fierceness. ’ And when he jumps high and low with vigour it shows that he is really fierce. You go to war and fight 23 THE MAKING OF MEN with all your strength.
Thus, I argued that the symbolic forms were best explicated not in the latent terms of the standard sociological version as making largely hidden statements about social relationships, but in terms of their manifest purpose—the making of men out of boys in the specifically Gisu way. Thus the rites have an overt transformational aim, a psychological purpose, and this could be described in terms of what I called Gisu vernacular psychology. Further, I felt that the rites and the psychological processes built into them clearly ‘worked’ —in the sense that they provided the means which enabled often extremely apprehensive boys to overcome their fear and stand the ordeal.