Impossible Histories, Power, and Exclusion in the Gold Coast and Ghana 1930–2020

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This chapter examines relationships in rural Ghana between, on the one hand, power initially vested by the British colonial authority in particular versions of tradition with a local polity governed by ethnically defined chiefs, and on the other, the production of ‘alternative’ versions of tradition, chief based authority, and the making of an ethno-political group – the Nawuri – who were excluded from the process. This provides insights into relational features of power as producing opposing social categories and cultures as a contested historical process where groups borrow, exploit, and invest new meanings to inherited categories to reduce uncertainty and maximize ability to influence and gain from local development. The chapter traces the forging of Nawuri group identity around traditional authority up to the present in East Gonja, present day northern Ghana. In a Wolfean perspective we see how Nawuri historical usage and subsequent social mobilization as an excluded group was influenced by translocal power relations as based in colonial understandings of African tradition as fixed and bounded, and which impacted on local forms and articulations of behaviour, organization, identity, debate, and contestation both in law and practice. Related, we see how current cultural expressions still relate to these deeper and older organizational and ideologically charged forces, and how the production of tradition today aims to lay claims to new opportunities in the present and arising from Ghana’s democratization.
TitelGlobal Power and Local Struggles in Developing Countries : Contemporary Perspectives On: Europe and the People without History, by Eric R. Wolf at 40
RedaktørerPaul Stacey
Antal sider29
ISBN (Trykt)9789004525481
ISBN (Elektronisk)9789004527928
StatusUdgivet - 2023
NavnStudies in Global Social History,

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