This classic, bestselling study of the !Kung San, foragers of the Dobe area of the Kalahari Desert describes a people’s reactions to the forces of modernization, detailing relatively recent changes to !Kung rituals, beliefs, social structure, marriage and kinship system. It documents their determination to take hold of their own destiny, despite exploitation of their habitat and relentless development to assert their political rights and revitalize their communities. Use of the name Ju/’hoansi (meaning “real people”) acknowledges their new sense of empowerment. Since the publication of the Third Edition in 2003, Richard Lee has made eight further trips to the Kalahari, the most recent in 2010 and 2011. The Dobe and Nyae Nyae Areas have continued to transform and the people have had to respond and adapt to the pressures of capitalist economics and bureaucratic governance of the Namibian and Botswana states. This Fourth Edition chronicles and bears witness to these evolving social conditions and their impacts on lives of the Ju/’hoansi. Read more
About the Author Richard Lee (B.A. and M.A., University of Toronto; Ph. D., University of California, Berkeley) is a professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto and a member of the faculty of the Centre for International Health. He has held academic appointments at Harvard, Rutgers, and Columbia Universities, and research positions at Stanford, the Australian National University, and Kyoto University. His current research interests include the social and cultural aspects of HIV/AIDS, human rights and indigenous peoples, critical medical anthropology gender relations, and the politics of culture. He is internationally known for his studies of hunting-and-gathering societies, particularly the Ju/hoansi-!Kung San of Botswana. His book the !Kung San (1979) was honored by inclusion on a list of the 100 most important works of science of the 20th century by the journal American Scientist (1999, November). A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and past president of the Canadian Anthropology Society, Dr. Lee has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Alaska and Guelph University for his research and advocacy on behalf of indigenous peoples.
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