New book looks at commodification of ethnicity

19 August 2009

Professors John Comaroff and Jean Comaroff, honorary professors in UCT's Department of Social Anthropology, have released their latest collaboration, Ethnicity Inc. As the title suggests, the Comaroffs explore what they see as the "rampant commodification" of ethnicity. Case studies include a Zulu ethno-themed park, Native American casinos, Scotland's efforts to brand itself, and a world religion declared as intellectual property. The book has been described as "a penetrating account of the ways in which ethnic populations are remaking themselves in the image of the corporation - while corporations co-opt ethnic practices to open up new markets and regimes of consumption".

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