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3 The Economy Of Development And Social Relations

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides an account of Xhosa migrants living in a post-apartheid township, namely, the living conditions with which people had to contend on a daily basis and the wider socio-political context in which financial mutuals are embedded. It then reveals the presence of the postapartheid state, a presence most strongly felt in the realm of development. Police protection was virtually nonexistent in the area, leaving people to fend for themselves, at times with horrific consequences. Violence made people suspicious and hesitant to talk about political events. In addition to the methodological obstacle that violence caused, it was crucial to understand the interplay with social relations on which financial mutuals were built. The author evaluates the way in which violence and distrust had an impact on people’s actions, what they were willing to say and to whom.

Keywords: financial mutuals; political events; post-apartheid township; social relations; violence; Xhosa migrants



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