Rivalry and Institutionalized Duplicity: The Sociology of Rumor

Karen J. Brison

in Just Talk

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 1992 | ISBN: 9780520077003
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912182 | DOI:
Rivalry and Institutionalized Duplicity: The Sociology of Rumor

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This chapter examines the set of relationships in Kwanga villages which are so effective in generating rumors and ensuring that they have serious consequences. First, villages are comprised of many groups, such as lineages, initiation classes, and moieties, which are predisposed to distrust each other and to resent outside interference. There seems to be something of a segmentary ideology among the Kwanga. Thus, the whole village of Inakor formed a united front in the face of an insult from Asanakor, but as the case in the chapter demonstrates, the two moieties of Inakor who stood united against Asanakor may separate on other occasions into antagonistic groups in response to perceived or real insults from each other. Consequently, when gossip concerns other groups, people take the darkest possible view of what they hear, and are sure that their group has been insulted or is about to be attacked.

Keywords: relationships; Kwanga; villages; rumors; lineages; moieties; Inakor; Asanakor; gossip; groups

Chapter.  14470 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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