Money Struggles and City Life: Devaluation in Ibadan and Other Urban Centers in Southern Nigeria, 1986-1996

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This study examines the operations of the popular economy and social life of southern Nigerian people under the incoherent conditions that followed Nigeria's first currency devaluation in 1986. It describes in detail the institutional and cultural innovations that fostered local economic activity and strengthened social groupings. The book questions standard views of either chaos or stagnation in the African popular economy under autocratic rule and incoherent policy. It shows how over 100 million people continued to make a living and maintain high levels of equanimity and productivity even in the face of chronic turbulence.

Despite economic challenges, regrouping, institutional innovation and cultural elaboration did take place, often in ways that reforged the relationship between formal and informal economic practices and among local, regional, and global economies. The book's case studies, taken together, identify distinct patterns and directions of growth at a time when many observers thought that chaos seemed the most likely outcome. This is an important contribution to the literature on the social history of globalization and to interdisciplinary analyses of local social, cultural, and political economic systems.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325070650
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 5/21/2002
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane I. Guyer is an economic anthropologist trained at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Rochester. She has carried out extensive field research in Nigeria and Cameroon and has published widely on changing rural economies, including Family and Farm in Southern Cameroon, Feeding African Cities (an edited collection), and numerous articles. Currently director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University, she has held regular faculty positions at Boston University and Harvard University and has also taught in Cameroon.

LaRay Denzer teaches at Northwestern University where she is a member of the Program of African Studies.

Adigun Agbaje is a member of the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

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Table of Contents



Ibadan Metropolis

Personal Rule and Regional Politics: Ibadan under Military Regimes, 1986-1996, Adigun Agbaje

Ibadan Local Government and Neoliberal Reforms: Fragmentation and Impoverishment, Stanley


Houses as Assets and As Homes: Urban Construction and Devaluation in Ibadan, Ben C. Arimah

Family Life under Economic Adjustment: The Rise of Child Bread-Winners, Austin N. Isamah and Rasidi A. Okunola


Growth and Change in the Ibadan Underground Foreign Exchange Market during Devaluation, Charles Olutayo Adesina

High Fashion and Fluctuating Fortunes: The Nigerian Garment Industry under Structural Adjustment, LaRay Denzer

Kos'ona Miran (No Other Way): Necessity and Invention in Mechanized Farming, Jane


The Tokunbo Phenomenon and the Transformation of the Motor Mechanic Trade in Ibadan, Chris Ikporukpo

Living and Trusting in the Economy of Debt: The Distribution of Newspapers and Magazines in Ibadan, Elena Obukhova

Refuse Dumps and Waste Recyclers in the Era of Structural Adjustment, M.K.C. , et al


Money-Magic and Ritual Killing in Contemporary Nigeria, Iheanyi M. Enwerem

Devaluation and the Video Boom: Economics and Thematics, Jonathan Haynes

International Connections

Building Status and Overseas Networks: Erin-Osun Artists Manage Devaluation, Debbie Klein

Igbo Emigrants in Chicago Invest at Home, 1986-1996: The Case of Houses, Una Okonkwo

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