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Social Im/mobilities in Africa
Edited by Joël Noret
236 pages, 2 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78920-485-8 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (November 2019)
eISBN 978-1-78920-486-5 eBook
“Readers will be impressed by the diverse range of case studies and detailed evidence from people’s personal lives. Overall, the chapters emphasize the importance of taking a multidimensional and interdisciplinary approach to understanding social mobility. Although this is a highly specialized field of study, the topics and chapters are well written and accessible enough to be of value to a wide range of readers…Recommended” • Choice
“Whereas many edited books appear fragmented, this book comes across as consistent and well edited…This book fills empirical gaps and provides theoretical nuances, not only to simplistic notions of the current African narratives, but also to our conceptual understanding of social mobility.” • African Studies Review
“This is a very important and timely contribution to the study of mobilities and immobilities in Africa. The volume advances our understanding of social positionalities as these intertwine and mediate with wider political and moral economies in contemporary Africa.” • Mattia Fumanti, University of St Andrews
“Addresses thorny, contemporary realities and draws on a really thought-provoking theoretical palette in opening up debate. Moving beyond social inequality and linear ideas of social mobility is a sort of manifesto that others will take up.” • David Pratten, University of Oxford
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’.
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.
Subject: Mobility Studies Anthropology (General) Sociology
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