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Artisanal mining's democratizing directions and deviations

Bryceson, D. and Fisher, E. (2014) Artisanal mining's democratizing directions and deviations. In: Bryceson, D. F., Fisher, E., Jonsson, J.B. and Mwaipopo, R. (eds.) Mining and Social Transformation in Africa: Mineralizing and Democratizing Trends in Artisanal Production. Routledge Studies in Development and Society. Routledge, Abingdon & New York, pp. 181-209. ISBN 9780415833707

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Abstract/Summary

Artisanal miners have tended to be portrayed in the literature and media as people who work hard and play hard, not infrequently depicted as ‘rough diamonds’ likely to cross the boundaries of appropriate behaviour through pursuit of wealth and flamboyant living, often at the cost of local environmental damage. A popular alternative image is that of marginalised labourers, driven by poverty to toil in harsh conditions and pursuing mining livelihoods in the face of national governments and large-scale mining companies’ subversion of their land and mineral rights. Both views reflect partial realities, but are inclined to exaggerate the position of miners as mischief-making rogues or victims. Through documentation of the multi-faceted nature of Tanzanian artisanal miners’ work and home lives during the country’s on-going economic mineralisation, we endeavour to convey a balanced rendering of their aspirations, occupational identity and social ties. Our emphasis is on their working lives as artisans, how they organise themselves and contend with the risks of their occupation, including their engagement with government policy and large-scale mining interests.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Economic and Social Sciences Division > Livelihoods Research
ID Code:33749
Publisher:Routledge

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