As an undergraduate in cultural anthropology at Leiden University in 1964, Hans van den Breemer was asked to participate in a research project on the most efficient distribution of new water wells in rural Niger. This brought him unforgettable contact with Hausa people and to some extent also with Fula and Touareg. A second defining experience was his research, from 1972 - 1974, on agricultural innovation among the Aouan of Ivory Coast. This resulted in his doctoral dissertation "Onze aarde houdt niet van Rijst" (Our Earth does not like Rice). The third phase of his anthropological career began in 1986 with his role in organizing and supervising the research trainings in Senegal and The Gambia for cultural anthropology and development sociology students from Leiden University. This participation led to close contacts with Mandinka people predominantly, but also with people of Diakhanke, Fula, Wolof, Soninke, Serer and other origins.

This book focuses on the third and last phase of his professional career. The dual aim of his participation in the training - coaching students and doing research himself - is reflected in this book. Van den Breemer shares the training staff's ideas and his personal motivations and experiences with regard to the supervision and coaching of young students embarking on their first anthropological research in an unfamiliar culture. He also offers his personal reflections on rural society in Senegal, its structure, social processes and problems. In an account sure to engage anthropologists and non-anthropologists alike, Hans van den Breemer reveals the realities of anthropological fieldwork and the kinds of understandings it may lead to.

Year of publication: 2019
Series: Occasional publications
Volume: 35

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46

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Information:

ISBN
: 9789054481768
Author
: Hans van den Breemer
Cover
: Paperback
Publisher
: African Studies Centre Leiden