Expectations of Modernity: Myths and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambian Copperbelt

Expectations of Modernity: Myths and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambian Copperbelt

by James Ferguson
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0520217020

ISBN-13: 9780520217027

Pub. Date: 10/01/1999

Publisher: University of California Press


Once lauded as the wave of the African future, Zambia's economic boom in the 1960s and early 1970s was fueled by the export of copper and other primary materials. Since the mid-1970s, however, the urban economy has rapidly deteriorated, leaving workers scrambling to get by. Expectations of Modernity explores the social and cultural responses to this

Overview


Once lauded as the wave of the African future, Zambia's economic boom in the 1960s and early 1970s was fueled by the export of copper and other primary materials. Since the mid-1970s, however, the urban economy has rapidly deteriorated, leaving workers scrambling to get by. Expectations of Modernity explores the social and cultural responses to this prolonged period of sharp economic decline. Focusing on the experiences of mineworkers in the Copperbelt region, James Ferguson traces the failure of standard narratives of urbanization and social change to make sense of the Copperbelt's recent history. He instead develops alternative analytic tools appropriate for an "ethnography of decline."

Ferguson shows how the Zambian copper workers understand their own experience of social, cultural, and economic "advance" and "decline." Ferguson's ethnographic study transports us into their lives—the dynamics of their relations with family and friends, as well as copper companies and government agencies.

Theoretically sophisticated and vividly written, Expectations of Modernity will appeal not only to those interested in Africa today, but to anyone contemplating the illusory successes of today's globalizing economy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520217027
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
10/01/1999
Series:
Perspectives on Southern Africa Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
343
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations, ix,
List of Tables, xi,
List of Cases, xiii,
Acknowledgments, xv,
1. The Copperbelt in Theory From "Emerging Africa" to the Ethnography of Decline, 1,
2. Expectations of Permanence Mobile Workers, Modernist Narratives, and the "Full House" of Urban-Rural Residential Strategies, 38,
3. Rural Connections, Urban Styles Theorizing Cultural Dualism, 82,
4. "Back to the Land"? The Micropolitical Economy of "Return" Migration, 123,
5. Expectations of Domesticity Men, Women, and "the Modern Family", 166,
6. Asia in Miniature Signification, Noise, and Cosmopolitan Style, 207,
7. Global Disconnect Abjection and the Aftermath of Modernism, 234,
Postscript: December 1998, 255,
Appendix: Mineworkers' Letters, 259,
Notes, 269,
References, 295,
Index, 321,

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >