Domesticating the World
African Consumerism and the Genealogies of Globalization
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication
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List of Illustrations
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The experience of researching and writing this book has shown me howto see the world differently. I thank everyone who has contributed to thatshift of vision. Long before any of these ideas took shape my parents,Cynthia and Perry, and my sister, Jennifer, lovingly nurtured my interests.My parents also made my first visit to East Africa possible, for which I...
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While some boundaries seem as impassable as ever, many people feel asif the spatial divisions of the world are fast disappearing. Though theseperspectives reflect different experiences, they both are predicated onpresumptions of historical insularity. Attempts to describe the myriadways that people, ideas, and objects either transcend spatial barriers or...
1. Similitude and Global Relationships: Self-Representation in Mutsamudu
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A town on a small island in the Indian Ocean once acquired a voraciousappetite for English things. It was not a British colony, and it hosted nei-ther an English Consulate nor a permanent English resident until the1850s—fully two centuries after islanders began their relationship withthe English. By consuming English goods, speaking English, and asserting...
2. The Social Logics of Need: Consumer Desire in Mombasa
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As we have seen in the case of Mutsamudu, a full appreciation of thechanging dynamics of translocal relationships requires an examination ofthe logics that shape them on all sides. In the seventeenth and eighteenthcenturies, Mutsamuduans tapped dramatically expanding global net-works. Though East Africans had maintained connections across the...
3. The Global Repercussions of Consumerism: East African Consumers and Industrialization
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Analysts of global integration have been rightfully concerned with eluci-dating global inequalities. But increasing interconnectivity has also cre-ated possibilities for seemingly marginal people to affect larger patternsof interrelation. By concentrating on how economic power is deployedby dominant global actors, analysts of globalizing processes have largely...
4. Cosmopolitanism and Cultural Domestication: Consumer Imports in Zanzibar
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The dialectics of global integration and social change that produced theWestern concept of modernity likewise gave rise to new social, cultural,and material realities in East Africa. Modernity, as a mode of perception,was ideologically forged at a moment when the world was becomingdeeply interconnected. Yet nineteenth-century Western analysts tended to...
5. Symbolic Subjection and Social Rebirth: Objectification in Urban Zanzibar
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People have been used in ways similar to objects. In the second half of thenineteenth century, slavery—a form of subjection in East Africa fixed bynegations of self-definition and rooted in forced social dependency1—was both a common facet of Zanzibari life and one of the greatest con-cerns of British imperial policy in the region. Zanzibari slaves were...
6. Picturesque Contradictions: Taxonomies of East Africa
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On holiday in Zanzibar in the late 1880s, big-game hunter John C.Willoughby visited Sultan Barghash’s palace at Chukwani. “I had alwaysbeen under the impression that a Sultan’s palace was indescribably blaze[sic] of pillars set with sparkling gems of incalculable value,” Willoughbywrote in his memoir, “and thus if you could pick out a single loose stone...
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This study has attempted to shed light on a vast archive of interconnec-tivity and socioeconomic experience that constitutes the world in mun-dane ways. I began with the supposition that global relations consist ofreciprocities that trouble unilinear accounts of global integration. Mystrategy has been to start with place-based actions and perceptions of the...
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2008
Series Title: California World History Library