Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.
Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records
The structure of Kanuri society
Published By: Original publisher
Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms. 1960. xvi, 361
leaves ill., map
By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication
By Ronald Cohen
HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.:
Human Relations Area Files, 1998. Computer File
Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis.
Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF
Kinship terminology (601);
Kin relationships (602);
Family relationships (593);
Mode of marriage (583);
Ethnic stratification (563);
Occupational specialization (463);
Accumulation of wealth (556);
Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document
This is Cohen's Ph.D. dissertation in anthropology
submitted to the University of Wisconsin. It contains a good, detailed analysis of Kanuri
social organization focusing on the sociopolitical system. Cohen shows how the patterning
of interpersonal relations at the kinship-marriage-family-household level carries over into
the wider-scaled structures of economic and political organization, and social
stratification. The basic objective of this study is to provide a description and
explanation of trends of social change, conceptualized in terms of stability and
instability in the social system. The major hypothesis generated through this analysis is
that the stability of the Kanuri social system is based on the processes whereby 'the
society is cross linked by class and status on the one hand which bring together people of
similar goals, rank, class and wealth; and on the other hand, by feudal chains of
superior/subordinate relations that link up individuals into a vertical system of loyalties
so that a man's ties are both with his class and with his superiors' (p.353). Thus any
weakening or disruption of these cross linkages would result in instability and further
social change. This interpretation is said to be in line with Gluckman's theoretical
position as set forth in his CUSTOM AND CONFLICT IN AFRICA (1955). Certain categories of
data are explicitly omitted by the author as irrelevant to his analysis. Among these is
religion; yet it does seem strange that in a Muslim society various ritual roles, groups,
and categories would not be integrally involved in the system of sociopolitical relations.
Cohen, accompanied by his wife, did most of his field work in the village of Magumeri
(population ca. 2,000), and in the surrounding hamlets of the Magumeri village area. He
also made a number of trips to the larger village of Geidam in the north, where another
anthropologist, Abraham Rosman, and his wife were working. Finally, Cohen and his wife
lived for the last three months of their research in Maiduguri, the capital of Bornu
Emirate. After the first four months, according to Cohen, most of his research was
conducted in the Kanuri language.
Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents
Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits.
Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs.
Language: Language that the document is written in
UM 60-986 Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Wisconsin,
1960 Includes bibliographical references (p. 356-360) Cohen's concept of the 'extended
household organization' has been indexed for Community Structure ( 621) since it denotes a
unit composed of more than one household (in OCM terms), and thus may be viewed as a local
subdivision of a community
Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document
Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data
Social Anthropologist-4, 5
Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection.
Robert O. Lagacé ; Sigrid Khera ; 1969-1970
Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date).
Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site)
Magumeri, Borno State, Nigeria
LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings
Kanuri (African people)