Anthropological experiences in rural Senegal, 1986-2003

TitleAnthropological experiences in rural Senegal, 1986-2003
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsH. van den Breemer
Series titleASC occasional publications
Date Published2019
PublisherAfrican Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL)
Place PublishedLeiden
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number978-90-5448-176-8
Keywordsanthropological research, Dutch, fieldwork, rural areas, Senegal, students

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 lvory 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.

IR handle/ Full text URL
Citation Key10217