This article examines the discourse surrounding the circulation of legal information in urban Gambia. It argues that ideas of information sharing suggest that Gambian law is fundamentally opaque, not simply in that it is not transparent but that it is only partially known. Drawing on the insights of Marilyn Strathern and other 'Melanesianists', the article further proposes that information sharing is a kind of relation and that opacity is a way of cutting relations. This in turn presents a way of apprehending African law that differs from the current emphasis on illegality and sovereignty in Africanist legal anthropology and focuses instead on emendation as a modality of engaging the law.
This article discusses the medically pluralistic character of malaria prevention and treatment-based health-seeking behaviour among the inhabitants of a predominantly Jola village in the Gambia, West Africa. Through the presentation of ethnographic data obtained between 2003 and 2004, the paper demonstrates that traditional health services - represented by traditional medical practitioners and medicinal plant usage - among the Jola appear as much, if not more accessible, available, affordable and acceptable than the biomedical services - represented by biomedical practitioners and antimalarial medication usage - provided by the Gambian government health system. This accessibility, availability, affordability and acceptability occur to the extent that many of the villagers suggest that traditional health services become incorporated into the Gambian government health system. The need to integrate traditional and biomedical services becomes especially relevant given the existence of traditional services within the context of biomedical hegemony and limited Jola accessibility, availability and affordability of biomedical services.
This article examines the voter registration card and the social context of voter registrations in the Gambia, West Africa. Drawing on recent ethnographies of documents and using data on worries over foreigners’ efforts to fraudulently obtain voter registration cards, a public information campaign on the Gambian electoral process, international legal material on the Gambian democracy, and observations at voter registration stations, the article argues that the voter registration card delineates not only a national subject but also a generic political subject. This subject is characterized by a commitment to a bureaucratic process and an appreciation of the card as an official identification document inseparable from the person it identifies. The article also considers how the voter registration process allows Gambians to compare their experiences to citizens of other countries. In a political context of an authoritarian government and a weak rule of law, this comparison offers an ideal of a modern democratic state that both enables criticism of the Gambia’s present situation and confirms the centrality of a generic political subject to the realization of that ideal.
Restoring Viable Relations in Emigrant Gambia
sociocultural categories that public and scholarly discourse may ossify as explanations for African migration to Europe (cf. Jackson and Piette 2015 ). I take my cue from Suleyman, a long-time acquaintance from a Soninke village in eastern Gambia. This is an
A Relational Perspective on Marriage Exchange and Sociality in Rural Gambia
Based on 21 months of field research on the northern bank of the Gambia River, this study deals with ceremonial exchange and sociality among rural Wolof speakers. In exploring the procurement and distribution of bridal trousseaus, I examine the process of exchange that shapes and limits these potentially endless affinal networks and analyze the social forms that arise from these complex sets of transfers. It is argued that redistributions of objects and money do not establish definite boundaries around units based on categorical exclusion and inclusion, but rather gradual distinctions of social proximity. In effect, I question the appropriateness of the concept of the 'cutting' of networks in this West African setting, proposing instead that 'fading' paints a clearer picture of the particular ways in which affinal networks are limited and relationships are rendered recognizable.
Aspiration, Belonging, and Responsible Masculinities in the Lives of White, Working-Class Boys in a Youth Inclusion Program at the YMCA
inequality by studying YMCA centers in Brighton and Hove and Banjul, The Gambia, which have been working together in partnership. As a small Islamic country, The Gambia offered important points of contrast with Brighton and Hove, such as a secular
University, where he eventually chaired the Department of Romance Languages. 8 Throughout his career Mercer Cook crisscrossed the Atlantic, living in France, Haiti, Cuba, Niger, Senegal, and Gambia. He briefly visited Martinique. His expertise and knowledge
Fear of Jihadism and the Terrorist Threat in Southern Mali
, Niklas . 2013 . “ Law, Opacity, and Information in Urban Gambia .” Social Analysis 57 ( 3 ): 42 – 57 . https://doi.org/10.3167/sa.2013.570303 . 10.3167/sa.2013.570303 HRC (Human Rights Watch) . 2013 . World Report 2013: Events of 2012 . https
Institutions, Education and Elite Formation
.1 Gambia 0.8 3.3 0.1 Ghana 11.8 1.1 0.6 Kenya 19.9 1.7 0.3 Lesotho 52.9 1.0 0.1 Malawi 34.0 0.3 0.0 Mauritius 42.6 7.3 0.3 Sierra Leone 3.2 1.5 0.2 Sudan 8.8 0.5 0
Jelena Tošić and Annika Lems
in Gambia to Europe and other African countries and shows how these im/mobilities are grounded in the social fabric of the villages and, crucially, impact family relations and livelihoods. Here, migration is a process of “moving with others,” actively