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4 Creating Mutuals: Reluctant Solidarity

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Chapter Summary

Financial mutuals were the first organisations that migrants developed – except for the organisation of violence and development. This chapter discusses the way in which neighbours established financial mutuals with each other. People who had little money did not organise their own financial mutuals based on lower contributions. Although the neighbours in Indawo Yoxolo hardly knew one another, reputations emerged very quickly and were based on little information. After Noparuru died in hospital on 18 May 1998, it became clear how her neighbours tried to deal with ambivalent relations and conflicting concerns, and how this led to reluctant solidarity. Xhosa migrants established financial mutuals in an attempt to safeguard their money, manipulate its directional flows, and pulled together in relatively small, private, and dense social configurations. However, the way in which this had to be done was far from harmonious.

Keywords: ambivalent relations; financial mutuals; Indawo Yoxolo; money; reluctant solidarity; violence; Xhosa migrants



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