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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Fabrics of identity: uniforms, gender and associations in the Cameroon Grassfields
Author:Fokwang, JudeISNI
Year:2015
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 1750-0184)
Volume:85
Issue:4
Pages:677-696
Language:English
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:clothing
social life
gender
Link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972015000625
Abstract:This paper argues that the uniform, conceived as a special type of 'social skin', has been incorporated by individuals and groups into a complex chain of processes and meanings in the Cameroon Grassfields; the author describes this practice as the uniformization of socio-cultural life. She demonstrates that uniforms, unlike ordinary clothing, are salient precisely because of their unique role as markers of collective identity but also because they embody and simultaneously express the paradox of similarity and difference. Central to these processes and construction of meaning are community-based associations that have elevated the uniform to a new kind of orthodoxy. These perspectives are borne out by ethnographic interpretations of the ways in which variously positioned subjects in the Grassfields relate to and embody the special object that the uniform represents. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French [Journal abstract]
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