Ironies of Solidarity : Insurance and Financialization of Kinship in South Africa Paperback / softback
by Erik Bahre
Part of the Politics and Development in Contemporary Africa series
Ironies of Solidarity makes an important and empirically rich contribution to our understanding of what finance does to society.
Set in one of the world's most unequal and violent places, this ethnographic study examines how insurance companies discovered a vast market of predominantly poor African clients.
After apartheid ended in 1994, South Africa has become a 'testing ground' for new insurance products, new marketing techniques and pioneering administrative models with a potentially global market. Erik Bahre considers both how Africans enjoy the freedoms that they have gained in financial terms and how the onset of democracy effected the risks faced in the everyday life.
In order to answer such questions, this book offers a detailed analysis of South Africa's insurance sector, examining both the organizations and networks through which policies are sold and claims are handled, and also the social world of African clients and their dependants. Brought to life with vivid case studies and theoretically innovative, this book draws on Rorty's notion of irony for understanding how the contradictions inherent to solidarity affect inequality and conflict.
It makes an important contribution to urgent debates in economic anthropology by exploring the moral and social consequences of insurance companies and their products.
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 264 pages
- Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 15/01/2020
- Category: Development studies
- ISBN: 9781786998583
- Hardback from £61.75