Accepted Paper:

Traditional culture and the conception of nation in contemporary Tanzanian cities  
Oleg Kavykin (Institute for African Studies)

Paper short abstract:

The author intends to examine the influence of the inclusiveness of Tanzanians of non-immigrant origins into their original cultures in the context of the mentality pattern, attributed to civil society. The paper is based on the results of fieldwork in the Russian Anthropological Expedition (2005).

Paper long abstract:

The paper will be based on the results of fieldwork in the Russian Anthropological Expedition in the United Republic of Tanzania (spring 2005). The author asserts that the Europe-born conception of "Nation" as a culturally integrated community of all citizens of a state is widely spread among Tanzanian city-dwellers. On the other hand, various conceptions of the "Nation" as a heterogeneous unit consisting of many ethnic cultures were displayed by respondents, too. The author intends to examine the influence of the inclusiveness of Tanzanians of local (non-immigrant) origins into their original cultures in the context of the mentality pattern, usually attributed to, and associated with the civil society: on the one hand, the majority of the respondents have demonstrated loyalty to the ideals of civil society and civic nation, in particular, by disapproving benefits of hypothetical emergence of the ethnicity- and religion-based political organizations; on the other hand, those very few of them who have argued the desirability of such political organizations have also turned out deeper attached to the original cultures, particularly, by more active participation in the acts of traditional healing, the ancestor cult's rites performance, etc.

The study was supported by the Russian State Foundation for Humanitarian Research (grant # 05-01-18010е)

Panel W004
Europe in Africa – Africa in Europe: Borut Brumen Memorial