Chapter 7. Crisis, Work and the Meanings of Mobility on the Zimbabwean-South African Border

Publication Type:

Book Chapter


Bolt, Maxim


Social im/mobilities in Africa: ethnographic approaches, Berghahn Books, New York : Oxford (2020)




1960-, Africa, Social conditions, Social mobility, Social status


"Grounded in both theory and ethnography, this volume insists on taking social positionality seriously when accounting for Africa's current age of polarizing wealth. To this end, the book advocates a multidimensional view of African societies, in which social positions consist of a variety of intersecting social powers - or 'capitals' - including wealth, education, social relationships, religion, ethnicity, and others. Accordingly, the notion of social im/mobilities emphasizes the complexities of current changes, taking us beyond the prism of a one-dimensional social ladder, for social moves cannot always be apprehended through the binaries of 'gains' and 'losses'"–