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13 - The Safe And Suffering Body In Transnational Ghanaian Pentecostalism; Towards An Anthropology Of Vulnerable Agency

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows how the death of a Ghanaian hairdresser can be used to investigate the dimensions of agency of churches and the migrant community in view of the complexities that arose from this event as well as from the precarious position of foreigners in Botswana as a result of the government's localization policies. It also aims to demonstrate that, in the case of the death of a hairdresser, the agency of the Ghanaian Pentecostal church was effective precisely because it claimed vulnerability as a desired state of being, given the contextual predicament of its presence in Botswana. An anthropology of vulnerability cannot assume a a priori an understanding of its cultural meaning but must take as a paradigmatic point of departure an exploration of the construction of that meaning on the part of Western academia too.

Keywords: Botswana; Ghanaian hairdresser; Ghanaian Pentecostal church



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