National and Local Factions

Lesley A. Sharp

in The Possessed and the Dispossessed

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780520080010
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520918450 | DOI:
National and Local Factions

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As a booming migrant town, Ambanja is a mixture of peoples of diverse origins, not only from within the boundaries of this large island, but from abroad. This town is a microcosm of factions that operate on a national scale. Of these factions, ethnicity is the primary category, one that overlaps with a variety of other group orientations and allegiances. Such groupings or identities, when taken in total, reveal the complexity of the tensions operating in Madagascar and, in turn, in Ambanja. An individual's ability to make sense of and become established as a member of one or more groups determines his or her well-being in this community. As a result, in Ambanja and the surrounding Sambirano Valley, defining what it means to be an insider or an outsider is complex. This chapter addresses the nature of social and cultural divisions that exist, first on a national scale, and then in Ambanja.

Keywords: Ambanja; factions; ethnicity; groupings; identities; Madagascar; Sambirano; divisions

Chapter.  9690 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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