Re: Comments on various ethnographies?

Jay Bernstein (
Sun, 10 Nov 1996 19:13:44 GMT

In article <>, (cynthia gage) wrote:

> I'm trying to choose an ethnography to write about, specifically issues of
> economics and kinship. I've narrowed my search down to these thress and
> would appreciate any comments or suggestion anyone could offer (you loved
> it, you hated it, it was incredibly dense but didn't say much, etc.).
> Thanks for any help :) Cynthia
> Amadiume, I. "Male Daughters, Female Husbands". 1987.
> Colson, E. "Marriage and the Family Among the Tonga". 1958.
> Fardon, R. "Sisters, wives, wards and daughters." in "Africa", pp.77-91.

Well obviously the Colson book is a whole book while the Farndon article
is a 15 page article, so that is a factor. If I were your professor I'd
notice the difference in a review of an article and a review of a book.
By the way I've never heard of I. Amadiume. Where did you come up with
this obscure person and his/her obscure book?

By the way too, while writing this I thought of something that if you want
to read something substantial, reasonably recent (compared to Colson
anyway), yet classic, on kinship and economics, you should take a look
at. And exciting, and well within the capacity of a smart undergraduate:
"Women of Value, Men of Reknown" by Annette Weiner. 1976, U. of Texas

Or if you want something a lot shorter, try "The Ecology of Social
Boundaries: Agta Foragers of the Philippines" by Jean Peterson. 1978, U.
of Illinois Press.

Neither of these will do if you want to concentrate on African materials.