|Rating(1-10)||Knowledgeability = 10||Clarity of Response = 10||Politeness = 10|
|Comment||Hi again Ralph, I'm glad I contacted you, and your examples are telling. Thank you!! My friend from Nigeria already mentioned more recently that the problem is perhaps to do rather with the generalization about Africa, whereas ideally he might have mentioned a specific isolated case or two (as you do). I went back to the page in the book that mentioned it, and indeed it doesn't specify where in Africa, it just says in Africa "it used to be" -- so it's locating it in the past, which is already a good sign, I guess: it's NOT common practice. The reference is also introduced as someone badgering his wife (I think), about wanting to die because he's no longer productive -- which brings the African reference, as the point is that in the past it was "done" to those who had stopped being productive. I guess there are also variations, as expected, between being taken out and left there, as the book "reports," and going out into the open on one's own. (Of course the book is not exactly "reporting" it but putting it in the mouth of someone shooting his mouth to his wife.) Frankly I like your other reference in the Kalahari and of the Tuaregs choosing of their own volition to go out and stay out there. But of course it's not what I like best but whatever the truth is. All in all, I wonder if I've been over-scrupulous in this case, or too politically correct, but it did leave a question hanging in the air. Thanks for bringing it back to earth. I guess the author could have had the courtesy to answer with even slight concern about opening himself to misunderstanding -- and worse. Then again as two who I felt were excusing him said, he's too busy to answer right away -- he's both a surgeon and a writer who may be working on another book. All in all, though, thanks for helping bring some kind of closure. Best wishes, Greg|
Business Anthropologist. Business negotiations in multiple cultures and working with multiple cultures in the business arena. Broad understanding of business practices and business "ethics" in different parts of the world.
25+ years in international procurement and negotiations.
MA Anthropology, Proximics