The Rising Middle Class in Africa – University of Copenhagen

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The Rising Middle Class in Africa

The Centre of African Studies (CAS)and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) co-host a book launch and discussion at DIIS, followed by a brief reception, of The Middle Class in Mozambique: The State and the Politics of Transformation in Africa  by Dr. Jason Sumich.

In recent years, the growth of a middle class has been a key feature of the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative. Here, Jason Sumich explores the formation of this middle class in Mozambique, answering questions about the basis of the class system and the social order that gives rise to it. Drawing extensively on his fieldwork, Sumich argues that power and status in dominant party states like Mozambique derive more from the ability to access resources, rather than from direct control of the means of production. By considering the role of the state, he shows how the Mozambican middle class can both be bound to a system they benefit from and alienated from it at the same time. In addition, he explores the ways in which the middle classes attempt to reproduce their positions of privilege, and highlights the deep uncertain future that they face.

Jason Sumich is Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Essex. He is a political anthropologist who works on issues of class formation, the state, hegemony, citizenship, and the politics of enclaving in Southern Africa, primarily Mozambique. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics (2006) and an MA from the University of Cape Town (2001). His current research explores new forms of urban governance and control as a member of the project ‘Enclaving: Patterns of Global Futures in Three African Cities’, funded by the Research Council of Norway.

Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliveira (University of Oxford) will act as discussant.
This event is supported by the Camoes Instituto da Cooperacao e da Lingua Portugal, and the Embassy of Portugal in Denmark, together with DIIS and CAS.