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Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Social Im/mobilities in Africa: Ethnographic Approaches / Edition 1

Social Im/mobilities in Africa: Ethnographic Approaches / Edition 1

by Joël Noret
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Grounded in both theory and ethnography, this volume insists on taking social positionality seriously when accounting for Africa’s current age of polarizing wealth. To this end, the book advocates a multidimensional view of African societies, in which social positions consist of a variety of intersecting social powers - or ‘capitals’ – including wealth, education, social relationships, religion, ethnicity, and others. Accordingly, the notion of social im/mobilities emphasizes the complexities of current changes, taking us beyond the prism of a one-dimensional social ladder, for social moves cannot always be apprehended through the binaries of ‘gains’ and ‘losses’.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781789204858
Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/01/2019
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Joël Noret is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Université libre de Bruxelles. He has conducted most of his fieldwork in Southern Benin where he worked on funerals, religious change and the memory of slavery. In the last few years, he has started investigating social inequalities in education, combining ethnography with survey research to explore the making of unequal lives.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Theorizing Social Im/mobilities in Africa

Joël Noret

Chapter 1. Inequality from up Close: Qur’anic Students in Northern Nigeria Working as Domestics

Hannah Hoechner

Chapter 2. 'Born Free to Aspire?' An Ethnographic Study of Rural Youths’ Aspirations in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Fawzia Mazanderani

Chapter 3. Great Expectations and Uncertain Futures: Education and Social Im/mobility in Niamey, Niger

Gabriella Körling

Chapter 4. ‘Precarious Prosperity?’ Social Im/mobilities Among Young Entrepreneurs in Kampala

Laura Camfield and William Monteith

Chapter 5. ‘Here Men Are Becoming Women and Women Men’: Gender, Class, and Space in Maputo, Mozambique

Inge Tvedten, Arlindo Uate and Lizete Mangueleze

Chapter 6. The Dynamics of Inequality in the Congolese Copperbelt: A Discussion of Bourdieu’s Theory of Social Space

Benjamin Rubbers

Chapter 7. Crisis, Work and the Meanings of Mobility on the Zimbabwean-South African Border

Maxim Bolt

Chapter 8. Domestic Dramas: Class, Taste and Home Decoration in Buea, Cameroon

Ben Page

Conclusion: A Multidimensional Approach to Social Positionality in Africa

Joël Noret

Appendix I: Sample characteristics

Appendix II: Summary of entrepreneurs’ directions of social mobility