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Examining the social and political significance of football in Cameroon, Bea Vidacs's anthropological study goes beyond sports. Encompassing the period between 1994 and 2006, the work throws light upon changes in Cameroonians' political attitudes and interpretations of politics and of football as the revolutionary fervor of the early 1990s waned over time and increasingly turned into political disillusionment. Taking the ethos of sport as an ethnographic starting point she addresses such issues as politics, power, powerlessness, identity construction on a local, national and international scale, as well as the meaning of the postcolonial experience both on an individual and national level.
"Rich in ethnographic detail and command of relevant literature, the study demonstrates how, and with what consequences, Cameroonian football impinges upon and is influenced by local, national and global socio-cultural, economic and political realities. This original and highly informative work is pleasantly accessible in style, with a simplicity that is bound to appeal beyond the ivory tower of academia, reaching down to the very heart of ordinary folks with football at heart." (Francis B. Nyamnjoh, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town, South Africa)
Bea Vidacs is a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany.