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Manchester University Press

Science and Society in Southern Africa

Science and Society in Southern Africa

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"A strength of the volume is its coverage of the "applied" aspects of knowledge, from Anthropology through to Eugenics and state and social planning. There is also a commendable sensitivity to the unique ethnic dynamics of southern Africa, not least, for example, the complications of an "indigenized" and powerful Afrikaner nationalism." Donal Lowry, Oxford Brookes University This collection, dealing with case studies drawn from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Mauritius, examines the relationship between scientific claims and practices on the one hand and the exercise of colonial power on the other. It challenges conventional views that portray science as a detached mode of reasoning with the capacity to confer benefits in a more or less even-handed manner. That science has the potential to further the collective good is not fundamentally at issue, but science can also be seen as complicit in processes of colonial domination. Not only did science assist in bolstering aspects of colonial power and exploitation, it also possessed a significant ideological component: it offered a means of legitimating colonial authority by counter-poising Western rationality to native superstition and it served to enhance the self-image of colonial or settler elites in important respects. This innovative volume ranges broadly through topics such as statistics, medicine, eugenics, agriculture, entomology and botany. Its interdisciplinary approach will find a readership amongst historians, sociologists, anthropologists and historians of science and medicine, both at an undergraduate and at a specialist level. Contributions are drawn from South Africa, Britain and North America.

Author: Andrew Thompson
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Published: 06/01/2009
Pages: 256
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.80lbs
Size: 9.21h x 6.14w x 0.54d
ISBN: 9780719080487

About the Author

Saul Dubow is Professor of History at the University of Sussex

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