How Africa Works

Occupational change, identity and morality

ISBN 978-185339-691-5

Edited by Deborah Bryceson

About the editor
Table of contents
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Occupational change is generally assumed to accompany ‘development’ and to be a necessary part of achieving improved standards of living. But occupational change goes beyond individuals’ economic activities and income-earning to redefine their social identity and contribute fundamentally to the reconfiguration of the ethical foundations of local communities and nation states. The search for alternative, viable livelihoods in times of economic crisis involves age-old occupational pursuits and work hierarchies eroding and new occupational identities and ethics coalescing. Social trust is put to the test as novel work situations and mobility patterns emerge.

How Africa Works identifies the influence of changing work modes on the moral economy and social dynamics of the continent. Probing how occupational change alters identity and moulds consensus towards a new social morality, this book challenges the view that development is secured through a market or alternatively a state-led path. Case studies reveal a wealth of insights into the interaction between states, markets, communities and households, and illustrate how material reality and ethical values transform in unexpected ways.

This book is important reading for students, academics and policy makers working on Africa.

About the editor

Deborah Fahy Bryceson Deborah Fahy Bryceson is Reader in Urban Studies, Department of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK and one of the Principals of The Policy Practice. Her previous books include:
African Urban Economies (2006, Palgrave Macmillan with Deborah Potts), Disappearing Peasantries: Rural Labour in Africa, Asia and Latin America (IT Publications, 2000, with Cris Kay and Jos Mooij) and Farewell to Farms (1997, Ashgate, with Vali Jamal) and Women Wielding the Hoe (Berg Publishers, 1995).

Table of contents

1. Africa at Work by Deborah Fahy Bryceson
2. From Farmers to Traders by Barth Chukwuezi and Dimitri van der Bersselaar
3. Does Trust Travel? by Tjalling Dijkstra
4. Calculated Chaos or Cooperation? by Mindanda Mohogu
5 Linking Irregular Economies by AbdouMaliq Simone
6. Social Capital or Social Exclusion? by Kate Meagher
7. Economic Space, Public Morality & Social Integration by Natang Jua
8. Between Family and Market by Ilda Lindell
9. Women Working for Wages by Marjorie Mbilliniyi
10. Shifting out of Gear Leslie Bank
11. Fair or Foul Play Margaret Niger-Thomas
12. Occupational Change, Structural Adjustment and Trade Union Identity in Africa by Piet Konings

13. With or against the odds? by Pekka Seppala
14. Between Moral Economy and Civil Society by Deborah Fahy Bryceson

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