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Birders of AfricaHistory of a Network$
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Nancy J. Jacobs

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300209617

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300209617.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 13 May 2021

The Boundaries of Birding

The Boundaries of Birding

Chapter:
(p.115) Chapter 5 The Boundaries of Birding
Source:
Birders of Africa
Author(s):

Nancy J. Jacobs

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300209617.003.0006

This chapter demonstrates how ornithologists reconciled their racial awareness and their dependence on African vernacular birders. With the establishment of the European empire over Africa, the number of ornithologists who held day jobs as colonial officials expanded, and their presence spread throughout the continent. With the expansion of colonial society, recreational birdwatching, a leisure activity of urban bourgeois classes, entered the constellation of birding practices in Africa. Living with Africans, Europeans became “whites,” with all the benefits and anxieties that racial definition brought them. While working in Africa, they needed to lay boundaries to protect their status. The history of European birders in Africa shows that the politics of race were powerful, but also that they were a realm for individual negotiations.

Keywords:   ornithologists, racial awareness, African vernacular birders, European empire, recreational birdwatching, urban bourgeois, European birders, racial politics

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