Infrastructure turned suprastructure : unpredictable materialities and visions of a Nigerian nation

Upphovspersoner: Trovalla, Ulrika | Trovalla, Eric
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Urban Dynamics
År: 2014
Ämnesord: African urbanity, anthropology, infrastructure, materiality, Nigeria, Jos, Urban environment, SOCIAL SCIENCES, SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP
There are signs hidden in the infrastructure. In the Nigerian city of Jos, the unpredictable availability of power, fuel, water, etc. becomes a vehicle of meaning. In many settings across the globe, infrastructure is often made invisible, and the centre stage that it takes in everyday life remains unrecognized. In Jos, however, as in many African cities, the constant need to predict its flows contradicts the prefix infra (below); rather than being hidden beneath the realm of experience it is brought to the surface as a puzzle to be figured out. These explorations in turn come to reveal matters beyond the infrastructure itself. Just as diviners infer the state of the world from the stones they have thrown, reading significance out of the seeming randomness of matter, the infrastructure turns intricate questions into tangible clues. It becomes a suprastructure - a divination tool giving clues about the past, present and future of the Nigerian nation.

Om ritualer og sosiale relasjoner. : Refleksjoner rundt et kraftfullt bytte

Upphovsperson: Myhre, Knut Christian
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Agrarian Change, Property and Resources | Oslo : Universitetsforlaget
År: 2007
Ämnesord: Exchange, materiality, sociality, meaning, Social anthropology/ethnography, Socialantrolopologi/etnografi
The article describes a bridewealth prestation amongthe Chagga-speaking people of Tanzania. Departingfrom approaches that rely on the notion of reciprocity,the author explores how the prestation per se constitutes,rather than represents, the relationship betweenwife-givers and wife-receivers. By investigating themateriality of the exchanged object, the relationships itforms part of are laid bare, and it is argued that theobject forms part of a reproductive network wherepersons, things and social relationships are mutuallyconstituted. Against this background, materiality andsociality, things and meanings, reality and representation,are interrelated and the problems raised by thenotion of reciprocity are transcended.