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The King and I : Bronislaw Malinowski, King Sobhuza II of Swaziland and the vision of culture change in Africa

Contenu

Type de document

article de périodique

Titre

The King and I : Bronislaw Malinowski, King Sobhuza II of Swaziland and the vision of culture change in Africa

Revue/Ouvrage

History of the Human Sciences

Volume-no

Vol.13, n°4

Auteurs/Editeurs scientifiques

Cocks, Paul

Nombre de pages

23

Date de publication

2000

Pagination

25-47

Langue

ang

ISBN/ISSN

0952-6951

Localisation géographique

Swaziland

Résumé

Recent research into the life and work of Bronislaw Malinowski, one of the most important figures in British social anthropology in the 20th century, has concentrated upon his early life up to and including the years he spent in the Trobriand Islands undertaking his epoch-making fieldwork. However, very little of this research has been into the last decade of his life, especially his work on the impact of imperialism upon Africa’s colonized peoples. The purpose of this article is to extend this interest to his later research by contextualizing, describing and analysing Malinowski’s relationship with King Sobhuza II of Swaziland to whom he was introduced in 1934. I demonstrate that over the following four years, Malinowski sought to assist Sobhuza in regard to a number of matters, most notably his efforts to establish a national school linked to the Swazi age-grade system and his negotiations over the proposed transfer of Swaziland to the Union of South Africa. I argue that Malinowski gave this assistance because Sobhuza personified for him his vision of colonial and even postcolonial Africa which is contained in the largely ignored works of Freedom and Civilization and The Dynamics of Culture Change. Thus, these works reflect not only his background as a Pole in the Hapsburg empire, but also his contemporary experiences of colonial Africa.