The Franco-Mauritian Elite: Power and Anxiety in the Face of Change | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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The Franco-Mauritian Elite: Power and Anxiety in the Face of Change

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Volume 37

New Directions in Anthropology

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The Franco-Mauritian Elite

Power and Anxiety in the Face of Change

Tijo Salverda

240 pages, 1 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-640-7 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (April 2015)

eISBN 978-1-78238-641-4 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Salverde makes a convincing case for the need to study elites and the dynamics of power configurations that undergird their status, an area that has been neglected in the social sciences. This book contributes to the demystification of elites through an ethnographic approach which provides new insights into the under-researched and reputedly closed Franco-Mauritian elite in Mauritius… I recommend this book to scholars developing new perspectives on the study of elites and those interested in examining the intricate articulations of Mauritian multiculturalism.” • Journal of Anthropological Research

“This book offers significant contributions to the anthropology of elites—whereas anthropology has historically tended towards subaltern studies—and to the ethnography of Franco-Mauritians, who have been neglected in previous ethnographic studies of Mauritius.” • Laura Jeffery, University of Edinburgh

“This monograph based on serious ethnographic field research is also a remarkable contribution to the comparative study of elites and power. It should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in the field.” • Jean-Pascal Daloz, University of Strasbourg


Mauritian independence in 1968 marked the end of a regime favorable to the Franco-Mauritians, the island’s white colonial elite. Now, in postcolonial Mauritius, this group is faced with a much more diverse power constellation and often feels in competition with others vying for their privileges. Though this is a clear departure from the colonial heydays, Franco-Mauritians have been able to continue their elite position into the early twenty-first century. This book focuses on the power of white elites still lingering on in postcolonial realities, and with regards to elites and power in general, addresses anew how an elite group aims to prolong its position over time.

Tijo Salverda is a Research Fellow at the University of Cologne’s Global South Studies Center and a Research Associate of the University of Pretoria’s Human Economy Programme. His research interests include elites, power, and global investment chains, and his publications include The Anthropology of Elites (co-edited with Jon Abbink, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and “In Defence: Elite Power” (Journal of Political Power, 2010).

Subject: Anthropology (General)Development Studies
Area: Africa


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