Publications of Dafinger, A.

The house and embodied memory : sharing and negotiating social knowledge through space and bodily practice

This article takes the reader on a journey around the spaces of west African houses, and shows how the social world is replicated in the built environment. Based on the case study, this article argues that architecture serves as a model of the outside world to its inhabitants. Knowledge about the social order is embodied by moving through the architectural space. In this particular case, the society's kinship system and kin relations are encoded in the compounds' architectural spaces. This article traces how this order is created, read, and reproduced by its inhabitants, and argues that the house serves as a model of the social (kinship) order. I article conclude by showing that the emic architectural model of the local kinship systems allows for a higher complexity than verbal descriptions can. This article contributes to an anthropology of the house and discusses questions of collective knowledge and memory. It offers considerations of the nature of emic models and cognitive maps, and explores how these maps are shared and reproduced.

Dafinger A. Women, gender and domestic space : Sub-Saharan Africa. In: Suad J, editor. Encyclopedia of women & islamic cultures. Leiden: Brill; 2007.

Integration durch Konflikt : interethnische Beziehungen und Ressourcenmanagement im westlichen Afrika

Many parts of sub-Saharan Africa are characterised by a high frequency of intergroup conflicts along ethnic and economic lines. Tensions between farmers and herders are amongst the most prominent examples. One way national and international institutions try to cope with these emerging conflicts is by a policy of avoidance, by separating groups, promoting individual land rights, at the same time attempting to increase economic productivity. However, comparative anthropological research between two West African States, Burkina Faso and Cameroon, shows that conflicts are not necessarily negative, but may actually serve the groups’ integration and create a framework for social coexistence and economic cooperation. As the example of the Cameroonian Grasslands demonstrates, segregation may even have adverse consequences and aggravate existing tensions.

Land rights and the politics of integration : pastoralists’ strategies in a comparative view

In this working paper we will depict and compare two cases of farmer-herder relations, one in Burkina Faso, the other one in North West Cameroon. In both research sites, the herders are Fulbe agro-pastoralists and ethnic minorities. While one case is marked by integration; the other one is increasingly violent. To understand the different situations we want to relate the two case studies to differing patterns of land use. In a second step, we will link them to pastoralists' strategies in the struggle over access to land. Finally, we will look at local discourses on Fulbe identity which relate to pastoralists' quest for land.

An anthropological case study on the relation of space, language, and social order: the Bisa of Burkina Faso

This paper outlines certain benefits that spatial analysis offers to anthropological research, and shows how anthropology and related linguistic research may in turn contribute to the understanding of the social determinants of spatial order. It presents a case study of spatial order in a rural West African society. Although the examples are from a particular setting, the theoretical frame is a general one: the analysis will focus on the connections between social order, language, and the perception of space.

Herrschaftsgeschichte und Konstruktion des Raums

The history of power and construction of space.

Spatial order and social navigation

Volume 11: Comparing African spaces

Parenté et localité : migration et constitution des groupes

Kinship and locality : migration and constitution of social groups

Quelques aperCus concernant la structure et l'histoire des concessions et des villages dans la région bisa (Burkina Faso)

Les communications symposium international du projet de recherche SFB 268 – Frankfurt/Main 13.12.-16.12.1995.

Les ancêtres et les génies : Èléments pour une histoire des populations mosi et bisa dans la province de Boulgou

Les communications symposium international du projet de recherche SFB 268 – Frankfurt/Main 13.12.-16.12.1995.