The Power of Continuity: Ethiopia Through the Eyes of Its Children
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"In this gracefully written book Dr. Eva Poluha wrestles with important issues of Ethiopian political culture and cultural continuity and transmission in general. Drawing upon her years of experience in the country, as well as the data from this school ethnography, she has produced a stimulating and thought-provoking work for those interested in problems of cross-cultural education as well as in Ethiopia." -- Herbert S. Lewis, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-MadisonChildren play a vital role as a source of information on politics but have been neglected as political actors in research contexts. In this study, children are used as a window to an Ethiopian society where hierarchical relations persist, despite the numerous political and administrative transformations of the past century. With data gathered through participant observation the book examines how young, Addis Abeba school children learn to adapt to and reproduce relations of superordinaton or subordination based on gender, age, strength and social position. The children's experiences are viewed in the historical context of state-citizen relations where hierarchy and obsession with control have been and continue to be dominant. The discussion focuses on the power of continuity in the reproduction of cultural patterns and political behaviour, and on how change towards more egalitarian relations could come about.