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Water, Life, and Profit
Fluid Economies and Cultures of Niamey, Niger
Sara Beth Keough and Scott M. Youngstedt
192 pages, 31 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78920-337-0 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Not Yet Published (September 2019)
eISBN 978-1-78920-338-7 eBook Not Yet Published
“Provides excellent ethnographic details and reflections on the cultural, social, political, and economic circulations of water in the capitol city of Niamey.” • Hilary Hungerford, Utah Valley University
“Sets out a rich and complex topic in ways that are both accessible and sufficiently nuanced. There is probably also no more urgent issue than the question of clean and sustainable access to water in Niger.” • Barbara Cooper, Rutgers University
Water, Life, and Profit offers a holistic analysis of the people, economies, cultural symbolism, and material culture involved in the management, production, distribution, and consumption of drinking water in the urban context of Niamey, Niger. Paying particular attention to two key groups of people who provide water to most of Niamey’s residents - door-to-door water vendors, and those that sell water in one-half liter plastic bags (sachets) on the street or in small shops –, the authors offer new insights into how Niamey’s water economies affect gender, ethnicity, class, and spatial structure today.
Sara Beth Keough is Professor of Geography at Saginaw Valley State University. Her research focuses on material culture and human-environment interactions in West Africa and Canada, particularly water access and urban development in resource-dependent communities. She has served as Editor of the academic journal Material Culture since 2008.
Scott M. Youngstedt is Professor of Anthropology at Saginaw Valley State University and President ex officio of the West African Research Association. He has been conducting ethnographic research in Niger over the past 30 years.
Subject: General Anthropology Environmental Studies Political Economy
List of Figures
Introduction: Why Water? Why Now?
Chapter 1. Situating Water in the 21st Century
Chapter 2. Historical Urban Development in Niamey
Chapter 3. Accessing Water in Niamey
Chapter 4. Water Delivery Vendors in Niamey
Chapter 5. “Pure Water” in Niamey
Chapter 6. Fluid Materialism in Niamey
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