Credit apartheid, migrants, mines and money

James, Deborah and Rajak, Dinah (2014) Credit apartheid, migrants, mines and money. African Studies, 73 (3). pp. 455-476. ISSN 0002-0184

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Migrant life has long required a careful balancing of responsibilities. Migrants travel to earn a wage in a capitalist economy while saving resources and honouring obligations that arise in a seemingly less-than-capitalist one. Various agents – rural patriarchs, traders, government authorities, appliance retailers – have used techniques to keep wages beyond migrants' control. Paradoxically, similar techniques have, on occasion, been eagerly embraced by migrants themselves, who know that these resources will need to be husbanded for the upkeep of home. This article explores these contradictions, showing that recent forms of debt build on expectations born of forms of credit that proliferated earlier, but differ in consolidating these forms of credit to produce an unimpeded flow of money into migrants' bank accounts and out of them again. It looks at the advantages and dangers of the recent expansion of credit to constituencies – like migrants – where it previously did not reach.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: 06 Nov 2014
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Depositing User: Jayne Paulin
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2015 10:37
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2015 10:37
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