In 1946, Georges Balandier, an anthropologist and writer, began studying post-war African changes in both West and Central Africa, particularly in the Congo and Gabon. On his return to France in 1951, he joined the CNRS and, at the request of the IEP (Institut d’études politiques, Political Studies Institute) in Paris, gave the first courses on development in France. At the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes, he created a course on the sociology of Black Africa and founded the Centre for African Studies. Elected professor at the Sorbonne in 1962, he directed collective research, notably in the Congo, Gabon, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and the Maghreb. He teaches in France and Africa, but also in the United States, Oxford, Tokyo and Kyoto Universities, Canada, Mexico, Iran, etc. His body of work consists of an approach which connects “other” societies such as in Black Africa and Western societies where the most advanced forms of modernity are present. Balandier argues that they should not be seen as two separate objects chosen eclectically by the researcher, but as sharing the same interrogation. Georges Balandier is the author of some twenty books that have been read worldwide for fifty years.
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