The transformation and redefinition of honour, status and moral authority patterns in contemporary Africa
Dominique Connan (European University Institute, Florence)
Emmanuelle Bouilly (Université Paris 1)
Ms Emmanuelle Bouilly
Dr Marie Pommerolle
Start time:
27 June, 2013 at 17:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

We propose to discuss the recent trends regarding to distinction, honour and self-achievement patterns in contemporary Africa. It aims to explore the moral innovations by which wealth and domination are justified and embodied, out of any individual relationship of political accountability.

Long abstract:

This panel proposes to discuss the recent trends regarding to social distinction and self-achievement patterns in contemporary Africa. How, for instance, the financialization of African economies (Vallée), the structural adjustment policies of the 1990s and the subsequent growth of the private and non-governmental sectors do transform the moral economies of African societies ? How does it affect previous models of honour (Iliffe), respectability, and self-achievement (Banégas/Warnier) in the continent? What possible new ethoses do emerge from such changes? How does it lead to new forms of legitimization of wealth and economic accumulation and redistribution? This panel seeks to explore the moral transformations and innovations by which wealth and social domination are justified, disembodied or re-embodied out of individual and personalized relationship of social responsibility and political accountability; amongst the economic elite, but also the (allegedly) growing "middle class" of the continent. For instance, how can we document and study the growth and use of charity organizations, corporate social responsibility, voluntary work, international standards of management and governance or new religiosity? The panel also aims to analyse the way through which fortunes and economic status inherited of previous eras, acquired through both legal and illegal or criminal ways (Bayart/Hibou) domesticate or cope with these new discourses of justification. Not restricting the analysis to discourses, the discussion will also encompass the way such transformations can affect the aspirations, desirable lifestyles and material cultures.