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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Coping with disorder: drinking groups among men in Karamoja
Author:Mosebo, Marianne BachISNI
Periodical:Mila: a Journal of the Institute of African Studies
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Uganda
East Africa
drinking customs
social disorganization
Anthropology, Folklore, Culture
Karamojong (African people)
Drinking of alcoholic beverages
Abstract:The traditionally pastoral people of Karamoja, Uganda, live in an environment fraught with violence, poverty and disorder. The literature on Karamoja generally focuses on the negative consequences of this environment, such as crime and excessive drinking. The present article, which is based on information gathered among Karimojong youth living outside pastoral life in the biggest town of the region, sheds light on the other side of the story, using the institution of drinking in semiformal drinking groups as an example. It examines the social functions of being in a drinking group and how this relates to ordering one's world on a small scale when, on a large scale, the world is in disorder. Furthermore, where one drinks and what one drinks are important indicators of a person's social position, and can even be a stepping stone in improving it. Overall, the argument is that the institution of drinking should not just be dismissed as a problematic way of dealing with an insecure way of life, but that it also serves as an important social activity. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]