Originally published in 1978 as part of the Urbanization in Developing Countries series, this is an interdisciplinary study of rapid urban growth in West Africa. Gugler and Flanagan first explore the history of the cities of the early West African empires and they draw on the work of social anthropologists and sociologists, as well as demographers, economists, geographers, historians, political scientists and social psychologists. They then describe the urban explosion that the region experienced after World War II. They explore the implications of widespread urban unemployment and underemployment, the housing crisis and the emergence of metropolitan areas such as Lagos. The literature on urbanization and social change in Black Africa in general, and West Africa in particular, expanded at a fast pace in the years preceding publication. This critical review of the disparate findings filled a gap in African Studies and threw light on the understanding of Third World urbanization.
Table of Contents
List of maps, figures, and tables; Preface; Introduction: exploding cities in poverty-stricken countries; 1. Empires and trade; 2. Urbanization and economic development; 3. Rural-urban migration; 4. Townsman and absentee villager; 5. Social relationships in the urban setting; 6. Three types of change; 7. The family: continuity and change; 8. Changes in the position of women; 9. Stratification and social mobility; Conclusion: the incorporation of the West African peasantry; Notes; Bibliography; Name index; Subject index.