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The Toubou are a people notorious for their anarchic indiscipline, although anarchy and social disorder are far from synonymous. This detailed study, written in French, of social relations amongst the saharo-sahelian shepherds shows how Toubou society regulates itself extremely efficiently, owing to a particular mechanism of social cohesion based upon the marital system. Alliance being forbidden between close kindred, Toubou marriage throws together two distinct and generally alien networks of kinship. The marital bond between the two groups is consolidated by important gift exchanges of livestock, and economic solidarity is thus combined with a strong sense of moral obligation, in which bonds of revenge are fused with those of mutual honour. Solidarity of this kind is a powerful and constant presence, regenerated both by the marital system and by external attack. Anarchic violence and social cohesion emerge as the two crucial components, at once complementary and antagonistic, that and the social texture its characteristic suppleness and strength.
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- Date Published: September 1985
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521304764
- length: 512 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 152 x 37 mm
- weight: 0.81kg
- availability: Unavailable - out of print May 1997
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