Globalized urban precarity in Berlin and Abidjan examines urban youth’s practices of making do in digital economies, to understand how precarious working conditions reverberate in the coming of age in contemporary cities. Through a comparative analysis of the perspectives of young men working as airtime sellers in Abidjan and food delivery riders in Berlin, the book provides innovative analytical lenses to understand urban inequalities against the backdrop of current digital urban developments. Essentially, this ethnography challenges the easy conflation of instability with insecurity, and overcomes the centrality of wage labour in research on urban livelihood, by looking at a broader set of economic practices and relational mechanisms. The analysis shows how accruing symbolic capital, a feel for the game in contexts of ambiguity, and access to care are fundamental for explaining the unequal distribution of risks for socio-material insecurities in unstable work settings.
analysis of my observations and conversations in the fields. Most importantly, they are a result of probing to what extent important mechanisms in Abidjan matter for the context of Berlin. Work as economic practice in processes of commodification In order to grasp subtle and ordinary ways of making ends meet, without using terminology that above all defines them through all that they are not , I situate work in a broader range of possible economic practices: with Polanyi, I understand the term economic as describing ‘the
boundaries of production and reproduction (see also Knaus et al. 2021 ). Users of platforms contribute, share and read content of other users in a perspective of consumption. Implicitly, however, through their consumption, they produce data that presents value for companies to exploit. These symbolic economies that inform mundane exchange practices as gifts or shares, like writing a message to a friend or liking the new picture of a family member, can be discussed as similar to the economic practices with which the young airtime sellers and food
index of cultural hierarchies related to work: among others, airtime selling seemed to be an economic activity that was considered both informal and precarious – it was perceived as a temporary way to earn money and as a low-paid activity, and it was an activity that a lot of young men pursued in situations of waithood. In other words, I constructed my field site (cf. Burrell 2009 , 190) by seeking for entry points into the economic practices of young adults not formally employed, and by following them to places and sites indexed in interviews, or
Introduction Because there are many interpretations of Keynes it is impossible to adjudicate definitely on the prospects for a return. Indeed, the first section of this chapter argues that there are grounds for saying that Keynes never went away. There have been major policy reorientations, and some of these, particularly more inegalitarian and pro-finance policies, run against both the spirit and the letter of Keynes. But for all the liberalising achievements in major rich-country economies, much of the economic practice of the post-WWII boom period endures
. Obama’s approach appeared too reactive and solicitous towards China. It was viewed to allow Beijing to repeatedly advance in coercive and illegal ways at the expense of others, notably the United States, without appropriate reprisal. Indeed, President Obama’s frustrations grew with China’s expansionism and “bullying” in disputed maritime areas such as the South China Sea; cyber theft of US economic and industrial property and other grossly unfair economic practices; continued support for North Korea as it flagrantly violated international sanctions and endangered
his conversion is exposed. He can only redeem himself by a death through suicide, like that of Othello. By looking at erotic trickery, at dangerous or dubious economic transactions, and at religious or racial instability in these plays, we begin to glimpse a broad pattern, one in which the fundamental anxieties and instabilities produced by new economic practices in early modern
widespread literary-economic practice whereby diversity ‘is manipulated for the purpose of channeling difference into areas where it can be attractively packaged and, at the same time, safely contained.’ 34 This is what Yasmin Alibhai-Brown calls ‘3S’ multiculturalism: ‘steelbands, saris and samosas.’ 35 Exoticism, then, can be profitably disseminated to audiences who want a taste of diversity, while stopping short of absolute immersion. Midlands writing has no lack of
This book reflects the full diversity of the spirit of cosmological experimentation as an analytical impulse on the part of the anthropologist and as an ethnographic observation about the people anthropologists study. The first part of the book addresses the ways in which fresh anthropological interest in cosmology problematises traditional conceptions of holism understood as a 'totalising' discourse. The second part shows that cosmology can be seen as a functionally differentiated and distinct part of the total social order to be studied alongside other parts, including kinship, economy or politics. It shines light on the varied imbrications of cosmological concerns with political and economic practices in particular. The third part focuses on the ways in which social phenomena that a classically inclined anthropology would designate as 'modern' areas cosmologically embedded (indeed saturated) as any 'pre-modern' society ever was. It shows how the cosmological constitution of political economies is particularly bound up with the breakdown of classical dichotomies between modern science and pre-modern cosmologies. The book also reveals the abiding role that different technological forms play in sustaining cosmological concerns at the heart of contemporary life in the West. It broaches the strong affinity between cinema and cosmology in an analysis of two films concerned with the origin of humanity.
England underwent a financial revolution in the 1690s, as attempts by its Whig governments to raise money for the nation's war efforts led to a series of changes in the management of government revenue. This chapter opens with an outline of these developments before exploring how 'Court Whig' and 'Patriot' writers of the 1720s and 1730s dealt with them in their historical commentaries. It then proceeds to its principal subject: the work of Tory historian Thomas Salmon. His Modern History (1724–38), it is argued, drawing on both Court Whig and Patriot histories, used its narrative of England's Tudor and Stuart monarchs to develop a scathing attack on contemporary innovations in commerce and credit. As a consequence, Salmon's work is a useful example of the ways in which debates about modern economic practices were frequently fought on historical terrain.