Africa has been through a particularly ambivalent experience of modernity. Previous research has tended to emphasize the alien nature of modernity in Africa and how it has been resisted. This book seeks to show how this tension and the impulse to modernity have contributed to changing African society over the past one hundred years. The contributors look at how Africans negotiated the terms of modernity during the colonial period and are dealing with it in the post-colonial period. They argue that the African experience of modernity is unique and relevant for wider social theory, offering valuable analytical insights. The cases presented cover labor, land rights, religious conversion, internal migration, emigration and the African diaspora.