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Oppong, Yaa Mary Pokua Afriyie (1999) We follow our cow...and forget our home': Movement, survival, and Fulani identity in Greater Accra, Ghana. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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We follow our cow and forget our home'. This statement encapsulates the problems that this thesis addresses in relation to the three interdependent themes of identity, movement and survival. This study is concerned with Fulani identities and mobility in Greater Accra, Ghana. It is ultimately about Fulani survival across space and through time. It involves an understanding of where people are coming from, where they have travelled to and the environments in which they have grown up, been educated, married, borne children and worked. The units of analysis are the lives, stories and experiences of individuals, as well as the communities and ultimately ethnic group of which they form a part. The account thus addresses the 'personal troubles' of individual women and men, both young and old, as well as wider 'public issues' taken up by the Ghanaian state and press. These issues are also observed to be the subject of debate and concern in the Fulani community in Greater Accra. This thesis concerns itself with the sites and circumstances in which Fulani consider themselves to be the same or different. The markers of Fulani identity, as recognized by Fulani and non-Fulani alike, are examined. The factors are investigated that allow them, as a distinct ethnic category, to maintain and perpetuate this identity and viability in Greater Accra. The analogy of 'construction sites' is useful for considering these different, explicit and implicit events and recurring processes, through which people reproduce themselves as Fulani (of various kinds). These sites are locations as well as contexts of action. They are social circumstances (with personnel, power relations, procedures etc.) such as ethnic associations, public gatherings and common rites of passage. The recurring processes include genealogical reckoning of kinship and endogamous marriage transactions, and the ways in which ties of descent and filiation are used to enhance individual survival and family development goals.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:09

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