THE TAMING OF FATE: Approaching Risk from a Social Action Perspective Case Studies from Southern Mozambique


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This book is about how extreme situations appearing to have a destructive potential can actually be used to produce meaningful individual and social lives. It is about the “taming of fate”. This notion means and accounts for the ability of individuals and communities to rebuild their lives against all odds. The book is based on case-studies that draw from theoretical insights derived from the sociology of disasters. It addresses some limitations of the sociology of risk, chief among which is the rejection of the relevance of the notion of risk to the study of technologically non-advanced societies. The book argues that this rejection has deprived the study of the human condition of an important analytical asset. The book claims that risk is a property of social action which can best be understood through the analytical scrutiny of its role in the historical constitution of social relations.

Elísio S. Macamo is Associate Professor of African Studies at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He is both Director of the Centre for African Studies as well as Head of the Social Sciences Department at the University of Basel: He is co-editor of CODESRIA’s African Sociological Review and the AEGIS-Brill Book Series in African Studies. Currently, he is also a member of the Council of the International African Institute (London), executive boards of the Swiss African Studies Association and the German African Studies Association.

ISBN : 978 2 86978 719 3


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