Introduction: Thinking through Love in Africa

Lynn M. Thomas and Jennifer Cole

in Love in Africa

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226113524
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226113555 | DOI:
Introduction: Thinking through Love in Africa

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This book explores how men and women have imagined and negotiated love—the sentiments of attachment and aIliation that bind people to one another—in sexual, predominantly heterosexual, relationships in colonial and postcolonial Africa. Then, it challenges social scientific and historical scholarship that has reduced African intimacy to sex. It also argues that anthropologists need to pay greater attention to how contemporary discourses, sentiments, and practices of love are the product of complex historical processes and intersections. Moreover, it seeks to challenge the logics of modernization theory by exploring how people in Africa have engaged various ideologies of love as part of broader efforts to claim “civilized” or “modern” status. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in this book is given.

Keywords: love; Africa; African intimacy; sex; sentiments; modernization theory; contemporary discourses

Chapter.  12007 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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