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Kinshasa is sub-Saharan Africa's second largest city. The seven million Congolese who live there have a rich reputation for the courageous and innovative ways in which they survive in a harsh urban environment. They have created new social institutions, practices, networks and ways of living to deal with the collapse of public provision and a malfunctioning political system. This book describes how ordinary people, in the absence of formal sector jobs, hustle for a modest living; the famous 'bargaining' system ordinary Kinois have developed; and how they access food, water supplies, health and education. The NGO-ization of service provision is analysed, as is the quite rare incidence of urban riots. The contributors also look at popular discourses, including street rumor, witchcraft, and attitudes to 'big men' such as musicians and preachers. This is urban sociology at its best - richly empirical, unjargonized, descriptive of the lives of ordinary people, and weaving into its analysis how they see and experience life.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781842774915
ISBN-10: 1842774913
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 138mm x 138mm)
Pages: 234
Imprint: Zed Books Ltd
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Dec-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Theodore Trefon

Dr Theodore Trefon was educated at Boston University. He is an independent researcher and consultant currently based at the Free University of Brussels. He is also President of the Brussels Centre of African Studies.

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