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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Fiction, culture, and the concept of a person
Author:Oyowe, Oritsegbubemi
Year:2014
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Volume:45
Issue:2
Pages:46-62
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:philosophy
self-concept
ethics
novels
gender
About persons:Polycarp Ikuenobe (1959-)ISNI
Albert Chinualumogu Achebe (1930-2013)ISNI
Link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v045/45.2.oyowe.pdf
Abstract:This article critiques an attempt by Polycarp Ikuenobe to locate the normative view of personhood in Chinua Achebe's 'Things Fall Apart' and to thereby glean support for it. According to Ikuenobe 'it is the normative and not the metaphysical idea of personhood that is germane to African communal traditions.' The author argues that Achebe's fiction is mute on matters concerning personhood and offers no support whatsoever for the normative view. He further argues that the considerations that occupy Ikuenobe and, more generally, proponents of the normative view have little or nothing to do with personhood. What has been largely ignored is the predominantly gendered nature of the normative view of personhood. Gender and personhood are two distinct concepts; while the latter utilizes qualities (e.g. agency, persistence, bare capacity for consciousness, etc.) that are non-gendered, the former is socially constructed and depends on contingent facts that ostensibly ground normative personhood. Concerns about gender cannot be perceived as secondary, as they are central to the social identities people acquire over the course of their lives. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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