Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home AfricaBib Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Individual in a Social Framework: The Rise of King Shaka of Zululand
Author:Gluckman, Max
Periodical:Journal of African Studies (UCLA)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:traditional rulers
literature (form)
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
About person:Shaka king of Zululand (ca. 1787-1828)ISNI
Abstract:Some anthropologists emphasize the significance of individual interests and motivations and/or the significance of individual action within ego-centred networks or action-sets or quasi-groups, while others emphasize the structures of what have been called 'institutions' within environment and technology regarded as independent variables. The author cites several of these controversies. This article is an attempt to clarify the issues in dispute by examining the role of a 'great man', famous in the records of tribal history, and the extent to which his actions can be interpreted in the light of his own character and ego-centred situation, and in the light of limiting technological, economic and social conditions, that is, in an institutional framework. The 'great man' whose actions are examined is Shaka Zulu, who between the years 1816 and 1824 created a single powerful nation by conquest of many tribes, whom anthropologists call 'Nguni', in the present region of Natal. The author briefly analyses the situation in which Shaka embarked on his conquests and the factors that set him going. Notes.