|Quatrième de couverture
The Abutia Ewe of West Africa. A Chiefdom That Never Was, is a thorough ethnographic study of the social organization of the Abutia Ewe a league of three villages in the heart of the Volta Region, Ghana and of the manner in which labour migrations have changed the position of women and transformed their domestic and matrimonial institutions. The work is supported by a wealth of quantitative data on group sizes, migrations, fostering and a host of other demographic parameters which commend this book to the attention of social scientists interested in problems relating to population and development.
But the book has much more to offer. Having reconstructed the main features of the precolonial polity in order to measure the impact of more recent changes the author realized that. In its precolonial or postcolonial form, Abutia combined features which defied conventional anthropological models. Following on the elaboration in various publications of a new, "operational" framework in which the key concepts of social anthropology are redefined. Dr Verdon offers for the first time with this monograph a full-fledged application of his operational approach to the social organization of a particular society.
To the Africanist, therefore this monograph brings an important ethnographic study of a most interesting society, carried out in a new idiom freed from the sterile categories of previous models and eminently sensitive to the dimensions of time and numbers.
To the anthropologist not especially interested in Africa but committed to the study of kinship, marriage, domestic and political institutions, or to the study of social organization in general, the work introduces a new set of concepts and a new approach which will stimulate with its unforeseen conclusions and the new hypotheses it suggests
To the theoretically-minded, finally, and to anyone committed to comparative analysis and interested in the conceptual and epistemological foundations of social anthropology this book offers a new type of critique, elaborates a new conceptual model and applies it to a challenging body of data.