The birth of the “salon”: Poverty, “modernization,” and dealing with witchcraft in southern Tanzania

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ABSTRACT

In this article, we explore the social process of modernization through an examination of the transformation in the delivery of antiwitchcraft services that has occurred in southern Tanzania under the pervasive influence of transnational ideoscapes of market liberalization and public-sector reform. We argue that the anthropological association of witchcraft with the modern in Africa overlooks witchcraft's explicitly unmodern associations in popular discourse and state policy. These latter associations contrast with the practice of antiwitchcraft specialists who seek to enable the realization of modernity both through dealing with witchcraft and through the self-conscious adoption of specifically modernizing practices.

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