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1 Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book Money and Violence: Financial Self-Help Groups in a South African Township and its chapters. The book approaches financial mutuals as a social configuration. This allows a study of what has changed for the majority of Africans in a liberated post-apartheid South Africa, particularly regarding solidarity, trust, and consumption. The book shows how vital large-scale political transformations were, and still are, for the establishment and use of financial mutuals. It reveals how financial mutuals were migrants’ attempts to hide from politics and instead hope for a better future based on strong relations, plenty of money and self-worth. The study of financial mutuals thus reveals the horrors from which people tried to escape, as well as their dreams for the future.

Keywords: financial mutuals; financial self-help groups; money; social configuration; solidarity; South African township; violence



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