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Sacred rice joanna davidson

Sacred rice joanna davidson

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Sacred Rice delves into the cultural complexities of Jola farmers in West Africa reacting to their environmental and economic circumstances, given the centrality of a crop—rice—that serves as the economic, social, religious, and political lynchpin. This book examines the relationship between people, plants, and identity as it explores how a community comes to define itself through the cultivation, consumption, and veneration of rice. It is based on author Joanna Davidson’s more than ten years of ethnographic and historical research in rural Guinea-Bissau. It’s a story about encounters with outsiders who often mediate or meddle in the rice industry, but it’s also a story about encounters with outsiders who often mediate or meddle in the rice business. Despite the book’s emphasis on a remote region of West Africa, it illuminates the more universal nexus of identity, climate, and development, particularly in an era when many people, both rural and urban, are confronted with environmental changes that threaten their livelihoods and lifestyles.

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Davidson excels as an anthropologist in a number of ways, resisting convenient tropes and easy essentialisms at every turn. Her constructivist cautions about African environmental studies, gender, the basis of knowledge, and the idea of “sacred,” for example, subtly yet forcefully remind us to think beyond easily derived categories. This is made possible, and enjoyable, by the abundance of community-level data: she weaves the lives of key informants with her own in convincing ways. Her authorial presence is adequate to humanize and ground her ethnography in rich and instructive tales, but they do not overshadow the abundance of empirical evidence and theoretical contextualization that serve as the book’s most strong base. We meet and hear the stories of real Jola people, and we see how their lives are framed by macro-level data on environment, economics, demography, and national politics. In the face of declining agricultural returns, the perceived importance of “hard work” starts to erode; families increasingly move to formal educational opportunities rather than subsistence production-oriented lives; and parental authority negotiates the new realities of unwed daughters returning pregnant from city schools.

Sacred rice: environmental change and structural

Sacred Rice delves into the cultural complexities of Jola farmers in West Africa reacting to their environmental and economic circumstances, given the centrality of rice as the economic, social, religious, and political lynchpin. This book examines the relationship between people, plants, and identity as it explores how a community comes to define itself through the cultivation, consumption, and veneration of rice. It is based on author Joanna Davidson’s more than ten years of ethnographic and historical research in rural Guinea-Bissau. It’s a story about encounters with outsiders who often mediate or meddle in the rice business, but it’s also a story about encounters with outsiders who often mediate or meddle in the rice business. Despite the book’s focus on a remote region of West Africa, it illuminates the more universal nexus of identity, climate, and growth, especially in an era when many people, both rural and urban, are facing environmental changes that threaten their livelihoods and lifestyles. —

Cultural anthropologist | joanna davidson | 60 seconds

Sacred Rice delves into the cultural complexities of Jola farmers in West Africa reacting to their environmental and economic circumstances, given the centrality of rice as the economic, social, religious, and political lynchpin. This book examines the relationship between people, plants, and identity as it explores how a community comes to define itself through the cultivation, consumption, and veneration of rice. It is based on author Joanna Davidson’s more than ten years of ethnographic and historical research in rural Guinea-Bissau. It’s a story about encounters with outsiders who often mediate or meddle in the rice business, but it’s also a story about encounters with outsiders who often mediate or meddle in the rice business. Despite the book’s focus on a remote region of West Africa, it illuminates the more universal nexus of identity, climate, and growth, especially in an era when many people, both rural and urban, are facing environmental changes that threaten their livelihoods and lifestyles. —