Volunteer Economies

June 2016
2 black and white illustrations
280 pages
21.6x14 cm
African Issues
Library eBook
James Currey
BISAC SOC042000, SOC035000, POL023000

Volunteer Economies

The Politics and Ethics of Voluntary Labour in Africa

Edited by Ruth Prince, Hannah Brown

eBook for Handhelds
Examines the increasing significance of the volunteer and volunteerism in African societies, and their societal impact within precarious economies in a period of massive unemployment and faltering trajectories of social mobility.

Across Africa today, as development activities animate novel forms of governance, new social actors are emerging, among them the volunteer. Yet, where work and resources are limited, volunteer practices have repercussions that raise contentious ethical issues. What has been the real impact of volunteers economically, politically and in society? The interdisciplinary experts in this collection examine the practices of volunteers - both international and local - and ideologies of volunteerism. They show the significance of volunteerism to processes of social and economic transformation, and political projects of national development and citizenship, as well as to individual aspirations in African societies.
These case studies - from South Africa, Lesotho, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Sierra Leone and Malawi - examine everyday experiences of volunteerism and trajectories of voluntary work, trace its broader historical, political and economic implications, and situate African experiences of voluntary labour within global exchanges and networks of resources, ideas and political technologies. Offering insights into changing configurations of work, citizenship, development and social mobility, the authors offer new perspectives on the relations between labour, identity and social value in Africa.

Ruth Prince is Associate Professor in Medical Anthropology at the University of Oslo; with her co-author Wenzel Geissler, she won the 2010 Amaury Talbot Prize for their book The Land is Dying: Contingency, Creativity and Conflict in Western Kenya. Hannah Brown is a lecturer in Anthropology at Durham University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The politics and ethics of voluntary labour in Africa - Ruth Prince and Hannah Brown
Part 1: Citizenship & Civic Participation
The many uses of moral magnetism: Volunteer caregiving and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa - Christopher James Colvin
The civics of urban malaria vector control: Grassroots and breeding places in Dar es Salaam - Ann H. Kelly and Prosper Chaki
PART 2: Unequal Economies
The purchase of volunteerism: Uses and meanings of money in Lesotho's development sector - Ståle Wig
Positions and possibilities in volunteering for transnational medical research in Lusaka - Birgitte Bruun
PART 3: Hosts and Guests
Doing good while they can: International volunteers, development and politics in early independence Tanzania - Michael Jennings
Hosting gazes: Clinical volunteer tourism and hospital hospitality in Tanzania - Noelle Sullivan
Beneath the spin: Moral complexity and rhetorical simplicity in "global health" volunteering - Claire L. Wendland and Susan L. Erikson and Noelle Sullivan
PART 4: Moral Journeys
A third mode of engagement with the excluded other: Student volunteers from an elite boarding school in Kenya - Bjørn Hallstein Holte
Undoing apartheid legacies?: Volunteering as repentance and politics by other means - Thomas G. Kirsch
Epilogue: Ebola and the vulnerable volunteer

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