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The creativity of action: Property, Kin and the social in African artisanal mining

Fisher, E. and Mwaipopo, R. (2014) The creativity of action: Property, Kin and the social in African artisanal mining. 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. 79-94. ISBN 9780415833707

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Analyses of neo-liberal change in African mining tend to frame discussion through the lens of an overarching structural perspective. Far less attention has been paid to the way change is enacted within social relations in mining communities. To this end, our chapter considers how development in the Tanzanian mineral sector transforms people’s relationships and stimulates new iterations of power and agency within local trajectories of development, focusing on the case of artisanal gold mining in Mgusu village in Geita region, Tanzania. The aim is to trace how neo-liberal change configures market rationality and property relations in ways that can fundamentally alter social relationships within the local community, occupational groups and families, raising both opportunities for wealth accumulation and the potential to entrench poverty. The creative action involved in these processes generates new associational ties and repertoires of practice, as miners’ respond to change and the need to protect their livelihoods.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of International Development
ID Code:33747

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