Accepted paper:

Biographical constitutions of space in between urban opportunities and rural obligations

Authors:

Gunter Weidenhaus (TU Berlin)

Paper short abstract:

Very special patterns of the connection of the urban and rural can be found within the biographical constitutions of space of these people. This contribution introduces an explorative research design and first results based on narrative-biographic interviews from urban Kenya.

Paper long abstract:

The socio-spatial orientations of middle-classes depends from their work relations on the one hand and from their social environment, i.e. their sphere of reproduction (in families and other protective security networks that provide support in case of emergencies) on the other hand. Both spheres have become in the last decades through the integration into a more and more globalizing accumulation regime in an increasing tension. It looks like urban spaces in Kenia have become hubs of global accumulation whereas the countryside seems to be the sphere of family and reproduction. Therefore, the members of the urban middle class preserve strong ties to their families and ethnic groups in the countryside over generations. Very special patterns of the connection of the urban and rural can be found within the biographical constitutions of space of these people. This contribution introduces an explorative research design and first results based on narrative-biographic interviews from urban Kenya.

panel P123
The urban and the rural in biographical constructions of urban African middle classes