Identity and adaptation : social and political factors in health and development among the Digo of Msambweni, Kenya.
Oendo, Ayuka Waya
University of Cambridge
Division of Social Anthropology
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Oendo, A. W. (1988). Identity and adaptation : social and political factors in health and development among the Digo of Msambweni, Kenya. (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11494
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The thesis examines the relationship of rural people with the wider society t ~rough their responses to development interventions. In Diga society, as elsewhere, there are integrative tendencies promoting group identity, and adaptive forces encouraging relations with the outside world. Responses to interventions commonly reflect the way people identify themselves socially and politically in relation to the wider society. Diga see their identity in terms of traits and features associated with their religion, social structure, and the history of their interactions with outsiders. An attempt is made to show the role of Diga identity in their participation in women's groups where their behaviour differs considerably from that of their neighbours. Their participation in the South Coast H~ndpump Project is also discussed, as are Diga perceptions of health and disease. It is argued that Diga ideas on disease and its causes are statements of their identity and expressions of their relationship with the environment. These are also reflected in their therapy seeking behaviour which represents views of themselves and their place in the world. It is further suggested that the principles on which therapy seeking is based are also reflected in responses to other programmes. However, it is also argued that the emphasis on some features which the Diga claim as distinctive mainly reflects their position as peasants. The thesis attempts to show that their treatment in this manner is an expression of alienation. It therefore attempts to outline the conditions in which traits are used this way. It is suggested that it is sometimes immaterial what the particular features are, providing that they can be used as marks of identity in situations of deprivation and marg i nality.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11494