Death in Africa: A History c.1800 to Present Day

Lee, Rebekah and Vaughan, Megan. 2020. Death in Africa: A History c.1800 to Present Day. In: Peter N. Stearns, ed. The Routledge History of Death since 1800. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9780367137168 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

In this chapter, we explore a number of issues raised by the existing literature and suggest ways forward for future research. Death has long been a central concern of social anthropological writing on African societies, and of the extensive scholarship on African belief systems. Until recently, however, little attention has been paid to the history of death practices in Africa in relation to demographic change, urbanisation, the interventions of the colonial and post-colonial state, and the availability of new technologies. We explore the ways in which these forces have contributed to re-inventions of practices and beliefs surrounding death, which are both self-evidently ‘modern’ yet also rooted in a much longer history.

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Book Section

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death, death practices, Africa

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14 October 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

02 Jun 2020 09:19

Last Modified:

14 Apr 2022 01:26


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