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Modernity on a shoestring
Dimensions of globalization, consumption and development in Africa and beyond


Dimensions of globalization, consumption and
development in Africa and beyond

edited by
Richard Fardon, Wim van Binsbergen & Rijk van Dijk

hardback with full-colour cover, 432 pp.

published in 1999 by EIDOS (European Inter-University Development Opportunities Study Group)
Leiden & London
ISBN     (Dutch) —90.5448.037.8
               (British) —0—7286—03012

cover illustration: business machines retail outlet in Francistown, Botswana, 1989 (photo Wim van Binsbergen)


The editors:
Richard Fardon is Professor of African and Caribbean anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, United Kingdom
Wim van Binsbergen is Professor of Foundations of Intercultural Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Chair of the Theme Group on Globalization, African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
Rijk van Dijk is Researcher and Deputy Chair of the Theme Group on Globalization, African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands

Modernity on a shoestring addresses the challenge posed to the development paradigm represented by its potential submersion within processes of economic globalization. Is development only another of the discourses and practices of globalization? Is it best understood in the context of other such forces and tendencies? 

The chapters of this book derive from an interdisciplinary conference in 1997; the predominance of Africanist papers reflects not only the editors’ regional specialisation but also the peculiarly tragic position that sub-Saharan Africa has come to occupy in any discussion of development, which also gives our title Modernity on a Shoestring its particular resonance.
     Following the original conference’s keynote address, Part I addresses problems of representing moral accountability in the relations between consumers and producers of development. The seven papers in this section (including case studies on Sudan, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, India and Bolivia) can be read as a series of logical steps in an interrogation of the sites at which development is defined and contested: in the interrelation between donors and recipients, in the evaluation of commodities moving between North and South, in local appropriations of a future to be achieved through progress and development under the hegemony of market culture. Contestations over moral accountability entail moments of collective identification.
    Part II focuses more narrowly on the relations between locally situated capacities to deploy commodities (often manufactured elsewhere) and to make their consumption meaningful in terms of modernity, progress, development and cognate ideas of contemporary or future orientation. It begins with a series of four African examples (from Ghana, Botswana, and two from Zambia) celebrating the cultured ingenuity of Africans’ consumption. After an account of the African corruption complex, these chapters are offset against studies of consumption and lifestyles in India and Thailand.
     Part III is explicitly concerned with collective identities and their relation to several senses of globalization, in Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia, South Africa, Zanzibar and among the Black population of Venezuela.
     A concluding paper provides an overview of the book’s argument as a whole against a background of studies in development and globalization since the 1980s, and highlights the importance and ambiguities of collective identifications in the delineation of the increasingly widespread global phenomenon of modernity on a shoestring.


Table of contents:

List of illustrations
List of contributors
Convenors' Preface
1 Key note: Globalization, consumption and development - WIM VAN BINSBERGEN

Part I. Consumption, development and accountability: North and South
2 On consuming and being consumed - GUDRUN DAHL
3 The paradox of the competent child and the global childhood agenda  - OLGA NIEUWENHUYS
4 The accountability of commodities in a global marketplace: the cases of Bolivian coca and Tanzanian honey - ALBERTO ARCE AND ELEANOR FISHER
5 The Pentecostal gift: Ghanaian charismatic churches and the moral innocence of the global economy - RIJK VAN DIJK
6 'Progress' as discursive spectacle: but what comes after development? - DAVID MILLS
7 The experience of globalization: Indian youth and non-consumption (the birth of an alternative development rhetoric to save the world) - KATHINKA SINHA-KERKHOFF
8 Globalized market culture and market fundamentalism - HANS-DIETER EVERS AND SOLVAY GERKE
Part. II Identification: consumption and modernity
9 Christian mind and worldly matters: religion and materiality in nineteenth-century Gold Coast  - BIRGIT MEYER
10 Mary's room: a case study on becoming a consumer in Francistown, Botswana  - WIM VAN BINSBERGEN
11 Secondhand clothing encounters in Zambia: global discourses, Western commodities and local histories  - KAREN TRANBERG HANSEN
12 Globalization and the making of consumers: Zambian kitchen parties  - THERA RASING
13 African corruption in the context of globalization - JEAN-PIERRE OLIVIER DE SARDAN
14 The woman in the advertisement: historical explorations through a type  - R. SRIVATSAN
15 Communities of practice, communities of interest: the making of consumers in south Thailand  - ALEXANDER HORSTMANN

Part III Identification: globalization and ethnic politics
16 Market expansion, globalized discourses and changing identity politics in Kenya  - ANDREAS VAN NAHL
17 The production of translocality: initiation in the sacred grove in south Senegal  - FERDINAND DE JONG
18 The production of 'primitiveness' and identity: Surma-tourist interactions - JAN ABBINK
19 Anthropology, identity politics, consumption and development in post-apartheid South Africa  - PATRICK MCALLISTER
20 Rural democratization in Zanzibar: the 1995 general elections - GREG CAMERON
21 The production and consumption of black identity: the case of the 'Afrovenezuelans'  - BART DUYSENS
22 Concluding note: Consumption and collective identification: the question of public goods - RICHARD FARDON



This empirically rich and theoretically stimulating book will be essential reading for development sociologists and economists, anthropologists, researchers in the fields of cultural studies and globalization, and policy makers.


Order information

Retail price: Dfl 80 (Euro 36.50), not including VAT and postage

Copies may be ordered from:

The Publications Officer, Mr K. Dorrepaal
African Studies Centre
P.O.Box 9555
2300 RB Leiden - The Netherlands
fax 00-31-71-5273344

page last modified: 05-03-02 16:13:08