The muddled definition of a class in between

LENA KROEKER

I do not tweet, never had an account on facebook, nor do I own a car, a microwave or a flat screen TV. Being unmarried and a mum, I live in a rented apartment (70 m2) and work on contracts which are usually shorter than one year. The highest educational achievement of the head of household…? Well, I hold a PhD, but for the sake of making my point let’s assume the household head is male and more into business than education. For sure, marketing research would not place me in the middle class because of my limited consumerism. How about you? Are you in the global middle class? Continue reading “The muddled definition of a class in between”

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Social security as a marker of class in Africa

By  LENA KROEKER

Jean and John Comaroff’s book “Theory from the South” (2012) eloquently argues that our theoretical frameworks predominantly come from the global north, however, studies on the global south provide us with much better empirical material to verify these theories. Taking this idea seriously would mean to challenge our common understanding of the world and to feed ideas from the south back into our theoretical frameworks.
Continue reading “Social security as a marker of class in Africa”

Cruel hope: Hanging on to the promise of the good life in Cairo

By HARRY PETTIT

I wish to consider a middle-class life as a kind of hopeful attachment to the future. Much existing research on the middle-class looks at the forms of employment, consumption, education, sociality, and politics that define and enact middle class-ness in the present. However, a middle-class life – and life in capitalism in general – is an intrinsically future-orientated project, in which a sense that there is “more to life than what exists for us in the here and now” is an inherent component (Jackson, 2011, xi). There is always something more to be done, getting a better job, buying a house, or securing a good education for one’s children. Continue reading “Cruel hope: Hanging on to the promise of the good life in Cairo”

Middle classes on the rise: Concepts of the future among freedom, consumption, tradition and moral

Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies. Sub-Project ‘Middle Classes on the Rise’

Place: University of Bayreuth, Germany
Project leaders: Erdmute Alber, Dieter Neubert

The sub project focuses on social representations of future concepts and their contexts. The project will focus on current concepts of the future, their protagonists and addressees in the middle classes, the social environment, their genesis and their entanglement with current processes of social change. The core question of the project is: To what extent are various concepts of the future and a societal response to them tied back to heterogeneous socio-cultural contexts in which African middle classes act? More generally speaking: In which social environment do future concepts arise and in where do they unfold their impacts? Continue reading “Middle classes on the rise: Concepts of the future among freedom, consumption, tradition and moral”