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Urban Dreams

Transformations of Family Life in Burkina Faso

Claudia Roth†
Edited by Willemijn de Jong, Manfred Perlik, Noemi Steuer, and Heinzpeter Znoj

224 pages, 1 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-376-7 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Not Yet Published (March 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-377-4 eBook Not Yet Published


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Reviews

“This is a very timely project and an excellent way to bring out the larger contribution of Claudia Roth to Africanist anthropology. Roth’s work is of very high quality and extremely original, especially regarding her focus on intergenerational relations, gender dynamics within the household, matters of love and marriage, and the problems of urban life with little income or job security.” · Mahir Saul, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“Claudia Roth conveys a vivid image of the often separate, complementary, and at times conflictive worlds of men and women, parents and children, and siblings. The reader gets a feeling for the effects of economic and social transformations on individuals.” · Katja Werthmann, University of Leipzig

Urban Dreams is a wonderful contribution to the understanding of contemporary social change, both in Burkina Faso and more generally.” · Yacouba Banhoro, University of Ouagadougou

Description

Claudia Roth's work on Bobo-Dioulasso, a city of half a million residents in Burkina Faso, provides uniquely detailed insight into the evolving life-world of a West African urban population in one of the poorest countries in the world. Closely documenting the livelihood strategies of members of various neighbourhoods, Roth’s work calls into question established notions of “the African family” as a solidary network, documents changing marriage and kinship relations under the impact of a persistent economic crisis, and explores the increasingly precarious social status of young women and men.

Claudia Roth† (1955–2012) taught and conducted anthropological research at the Universities of Zurich, Bern, and Lucerne. She served on the board of the Swiss Society for African Studies (SGAS/SSEA) and was a member of the International Mande Studies Association (MANSA). Urban Dreams is the first collection of her work to appear in English.

Willemijn de Jong is Professor at the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, University of Zurich.

Manfred Perlik is Professor the Universities of Bern (Centre for Development and Environment) and Grenoble-Alpes (UMR Pacte).

Noemi Steuer is a researcher at the Center for African Studies, University of Basel.

Heinzpeter Znoj is Professor at the Institute for Social Anthropology, University of Bern.

Subject: General Anthropology Sociology Urban Studies
Area: Africa



Contents

Introduction: Claudia Roth’s Work on Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso

PART I: ETHNOGRAPHY AND REFLEXIVITY

Chapter 1. Culture Shock, Power and Knowledge: Negotiating Boundaries in Ethnographic Fieldwork

PART II: NEGOTIATING LOVE AND MARRIAGE

Chapter 2. Beware When the Women of Bobo Dress Up!: An Ethnographic Contribution
Chapter 3. “What is Love?”: Changing Matrimony in Bobo-Dioulasso – a Case Study
Chapter 4. Social Security and Gender: Marital Crisis as a Mirror of the Economic Crisis

PART III: ELDERLY PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN: SHARING OR LIVING IN POVERTY

Chapter 5. Blood Ties as a Social Network: The African Extended Family as an Economic Association
Chapter 6. The Invisible Impoverishment of the Elderly in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
Chapter 7. “Shameful!”: The Inverted Intergenerational Contract in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
Chapter 8. The Strength of Badenya Ties: Siblings and Social Security in Old Age – the Case of Urban Burkina Faso

PART IV: YOUTH: DREAMS AND HARDSHIPS

Chapter 9. Tea and Dreams: Men’s Generational Conflict in Bobo-Dioulasso
Chapter 10. Between Dreams of Grandeur and Pragmatism: Young People in Urban Burkina Faso

List of Donators
List of Roth’s Publications
Bibliography

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