The Current State of Anomie in Angola

in Durkheimian Studies
Author:
Ruy Llera Blanes University of Gothenburg

Search for other papers by Ruy Llera Blanes in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

In this article I explore the contemporary relevance of Émile Durkheim's classic theory of anomie with respect to both the discipline of social anthropology and the study of politics in Africa. I take as a case study present-day, post-war Angola, where an activist mobilisation (the Revolutionary Movement) has engaged in what I call ‘anomic diagnostics’ in opposing the country's current regime. Through a political reading of Durkheim's theory, I suggest that, while the French author situates anomie and suicide as cause and consequence respectively within a conservative view of society, Angolan activists instead see anomie as the starting point for a progressive political proposition productive of rupture.

Contributor Notes

Ruy Llera Blanes, who received his PhD from the University of Lisbon in 2007, is Senior Lecturer at the School of Global Studies of the University of Gothenburg. His current research site is Angola, where he is working on the topics of religion, mobility (diasporas, transnationalism, the Atlantic), politics (leadership, charisma, repression, resistance), temporalities (historicity, memory, heritage, expectations), and knowledge. He is the author of A Prophetic Trajectory (2014) and also coeditor of The Social Life of Spirits (2013). He is also editor of the journal Religion and Society: Advances in Research.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

Durkheimian Studies

Études Durkheimiennes

  • Abu-Lughod, R., and E. Montoya. 2016. ‘Altruistic and Anomic Suicide: A Durkheimian Analysis of Palestinian Suicide Bombers’. Journal of Politics and Law 9 (4): 3042.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Achebe, C. (1958) 1994. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor Books.

  • Balandier, G. 1955. Sociologie Actuelle de l'Afrique Noire [Current Sociology of Black Africa]. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bassil, N. 2011. ‘The Roots of Afropessimism: The British Invention of the “Dark Continent”’. Critical Arts 25 (3): 377396.

  • B'béri, B. E. de, and P. E. Louw. 2011. ‘Afropessimism: A Genealogy’. Critical Arts 25 (3): 335346.

  • Beirão, L. 2016. Sou eu Mais Livre Então… [So I am Freer...]. Lisbon: Tinta da China.

  • Blanes, R. L. 2013. ‘Extraordinary Times: Charismatic Repertoires in Contemporary African Prophetism’. In C. Lindholm (ed.), Ecstasies and Institutions: The Anthropology of Religious Charisma. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 147168.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blanes, R. L. 2014. A Prophetic Trajectory: Ideologies of Time, Space and Belonging in an Angolan Christian Movement. Oxford: Berghahn Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blanes, R. L. 2015a. ‘Revolutionary States: A Preliminary Anthropological Account of “Events” and Political Strife in Angola’. @ Focaal Blog. https://www.focaalblog.com/2015/12/15/ruy-llera-blanes-revolutionary-states-in-luanda-events-and-political-strife-in-angola/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blanes, R. L. 2015b. ‘The Angolan Apocalypse: Prophecies, Imaginaries and Political Contestations in Post-War Angola’. Social Sciences and Missions 28 (3–4): 217234.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blanes, R. L. 2017. ‘A Febre do Arquivo: O “Efeito Benjamin” e as Revoluções Angolanas’ [The Archive Fever: The ‘Benjamin Effect’ and the Angolan Revolutions]. Práticas da História 3: 7192.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blanes, R. L. 2019. ‘Austerity En Route: From Lisbon to Luanda’. Focaal 83 (1): 3750.

  • Blanes, R. L. Forthcoming. ‘The Optimistic Utopia: Sacrifice and Expectations of Political Transformation in the Angolan Revolutionary Movement’.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blanes, R., and A. Paxe. 2015. ‘Atheist Political Cultures in Angola’. Social Analysis 59 (2): 6280.

  • Boeck, F. de. 2005. ‘The Apocalyptic Interlude: Revealing Death in Kinshasa’. African Studies Review 48 (2): 1132.

  • Clastres, P. 1974. La Société Contre L'État [The Society against the State]. Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit.

  • Dala, N. 2016. O Pensamento Político dos Jovens Revús: Discurso e Acção [The Political Thought of the Young Revús: Discourse and Action]. Luanda: privately published.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Durkheim, É. (1893) 1933. The Division of Labor in Society. New York: Free Press.

  • Durkheim, É. 1895. Les Règles de la Méthode Sociologique [The Rules of the Sociological Method]. Paris: Félix Alcan.

  • Durkheim, É. (1897) 1950. Suicide: A Study in Sociology. London: Routledge.

  • Durkheim, É. 1912. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. London: George Allen & Unwin.

  • Durkheim, É., and M. Mauss. 1903. ‘De quelques formes primitives de classification’. Année Sociologique 6 [published in English as Primitive Classification, 1963, London: Cohen and West]

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fanon, F. (1964) 1994. Toward the African Revolution. New York: Grove Press.

  • Gordon, D., and H. Wolpe. 1998. ‘The Other Africa: An End to Afro-Pessimism’. World Policy Journal 15 (1): 4959.

  • Hausner, S. 2013. ‘Is Individual to Collective as Freud is to Durkheim?’ In S. Hausner (ed.), Durkheim in Dialogue: A Centenary Celebration of The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 167179.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hodges, T. 2001. Angola from Afro-Stalinism to Petro-Diamond Capitalism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  • Hoffman, M. A., and P. Bearman. 2015. ‘Bringing Anomie Back In: Exceptional Events and Excess Suicide’. Sociological Science 2: 186210.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jones, D. M. 2016. ‘Anomie in the Oil Patch? An Examination of Durkheim's Anomie Theory through a Case Study of the Bakken Region’. PhD diss., University of North Dakota.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lambek, M. 2002. The Weight of the Past: Living with History in Mahajanga, Madagascar. New York: Palgrave.

  • Marques, R. 2000. ‘O Batôn da Ditadura’ [The Baton of Dictatorship]. Público, 1 April. https://www.publico.pt/2000/04/01/jornal/o-baton-da-ditadura-142050.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mbembe, A. 2002. ‘African Modes of Self-Writing’. Public Culture 14 (1): 239273.

  • Mbembe, A. 2006. ‘Necropolitique’. Raisons Politiques 21: 2960.

  • Mudimbe, V. Y. 1988. The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy and the Order of Knowledge. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  • Mukuta, C., and C. Fortuna. 2011. Os Meandros das Manifestações em Angola [The Meanders of the Demonstrations in Angola]. Vol. 1. Brasilia: Kiron.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nutall, S., and A. Mbembe (eds). 2008. Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Oliveira, R. S. 2015. Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola since the Civil War. London: Hurst.

  • Pearce, J. 2015. Political Identity and Conflict in Central Angola, 1975–2002. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Sarr, F. 2016. Afrotopia. Paris: Philippe Rey.

  • Sarró, R. 2015. ‘Hope, Margin, Example: The Kimbanguist Diaspora in Lisbon’. In Jane Garnettand Sondra Hausner (eds), Religion in Diaspora: Cultures of Citizenship. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 226244.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schubert, J. 2017. Working the System: A Political Ethnography of the New Angola. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

  • Scott, J. C. 1998. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Help Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Scott, J. 2009. The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • Simone, A. 2004. For the City Yet to Come: Changing African Life in Four Cities. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Simpson, G. 1950. ‘Editor's Preface’. In E. Durkheim, Suicide: A Study in Sociology. London: Routledge, ixxii.

  • Wilder, G. 2015. Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Wilderson III, F. 1998. Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid. New York: South End Press.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 329 255 78
Full Text Views 104 2 0
PDF Downloads 85 0 0