Balandier, Georges

Balandier, Georges

Bio: (1920-2016) French anthropologist and sociologist. Georges Balandier studied social change in central Africa between 1946 and 1951, in Senegal, Mauritania, Gabon, Congo, and Guinea. After receiving his doctorate in 1957, he opened the Center for African Studies. He became a professor at the Sorbonne in 1962. He studied political anthropology, primarily African political systems, which were undergoing many changes, at the time. He thought it was important to study changes in the system of thought, that were happening in that turbulent times, but that is also necessary to study the breaks in continuity and complex socio-cultural relations, unique to each society, in a state between tradition and modernity. He also explored the question of how the processes of national formation and social and economic changes affect the population of the newly formed African countries. He was also a pioneer of urban sociology in African cities.

Main works

Particularisme et évolution:Les pêcheurs Lébou (1952);

Sociologie actuelle de l’Afrique noire (1955a);

Sociologie des brazzavilles noires (1955b);

Tiers-Monde: Sous-développement et développement (1956);

Afrique ambiguë (1957);

La vie quotidienne au royaume du Kongo du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle (1965);

Anthropologie politique (1967);

Anthropo-logiques (1974);

Pouvoir sur scenes (1980);

Le Grand système (2001).

Works translated into English:

Ambiguous Africa: Cultures in Collision (1966, in French 1957);

Political Anthropology (1972, in French 1967);

Daily Life in the Kingdom of the Congo: From the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Century (1968, in French 1965);

The Sociology of Black Africa: Social Dynamics in Central Africa (1970, in French 1955a).

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