20 Facts About Aidan Southall


Aidan Southall was a British cultural anthropologist recognised for his fieldwork in urban settings in post-war Africa.

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Aidan Southall was married to Betty Stogdon, Isis Ragheb and Christine Obbo who survived him together with his children with Betty: daughter Lucinda; and son Mark and his wife Madeline with their children Christopher, Catherine and Andrew.

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Aidan Southall, the son of a Church of England parson, was born in Warwickshire, England.

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Aidan Southall attended a preparatory school, The Perse School in Cambridge, England, at the age of 8 years old.

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At the age of 11, Aidan Southall began his secondary education and eventually worked his way up to Cambridge University where he initially studied Classics.

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Shortly after this, Aidan Southall switched over to anthropology after having been persuaded by one of his professors.

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Aidan Southall eventually attended the University of London where he gained his PhD.

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Aidan Southall was given the opportunity to apply for a position at Makerere University in Uganda, and in 1945 he became a professor of social studies at this institution.

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Aidan Southall had the opportunity to carry out research in that particular area among others in Africa, and eventually conducted fieldwork in Nyanza with a Luo student in Kenya.

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In Karachuonyo, South Nyanza, being restricted to a short-term study over the span of his vacation, Aidan Southall found it difficult to conduct long-term fieldwork and therefore focused on food and lineages.

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Aidan Southall returned to Alur in 1948 and spent two years there conducting doctoral fieldwork.

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Unlike most anthropologists of his time, Aidan Southall was generally interested in urbanisation and the development of African cities in particular.

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Aidan Southall taught from 1969 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, becoming professor emeritus in 1990.

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Aidan Southall became a member of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.

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Furthermore, Aidan Southall was a member of International African Institute, The African Studies Association of USA and the American Anthropological Association.

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Aidan Southall carried out anthropological fieldwork among the Alur people for approximately two years between 1949 and 1952.

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Aidan Southall described a continuous process of political and cultural domination, done almost entirely without the use of force.

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Aidan Southall later published a collection of papers, originally presented at the Wenner-Gren seminar of 1964, about cross cultural similarities in the urbanisation process.

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Later that decade, Aidan Southall published a collection of essays entitled Small Urban Centers in Rural Development in Africa.

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Aidan Southall's essays are broken down in different categories, the first of which represented the social and anthropological perspective.

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