Heart and struggle : life in Nakasero market 1912-2015

Monteith, William (2016) Heart and struggle : life in Nakasero market 1912-2015. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis generates an account of life in a marketplace in Kampala, Uganda,
through an ethnographic engagement with its vendors, traders, hawkers,
transporters and service providers. It traces the development of Nakasero
market from a colonial facility to a dense assemblage of products, peoples and
practices from across Uganda and the broader region. Faced with the
challenge of getting along amid ongoing processes of social, economic and
political change, I argue that people in the market invest considerable time
and energy in relationships and associations, drawing together ideas and
practices from institutions with long histories in Kampala and Buganda.
Nakasero market has been witness to many of the political and economic
disturbances of postcolonial Uganda: from the Asian expulsion and the
magendo (black market) of the 1970s, to the structural adjustment
programmes (SAPs) and privatisation initiatives of the 1990s. However,
rather than being passive recipients of these events, people in the market have
engaged in collective subjective practices to reinterpret and remake them,
producing alternative visions of social and moral prosperity.
The findings of the thesis inform two separate literatures. First, they challenge
studies of change in urban African settings conducted under the metanarratives
of ‘crisis’ and ‘informality’, which tend to conceal the multiplicity of
forms through which life in the city is articulated and expressed. Second, they
suggest the need for post-structural accounts of African cities to consider the
enduring role of cultural idioms, such as that of ‘heart’ (omutima), in shaping
the actions and perspectives of urban African inhabitants.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2016 13:15
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2016 13:15
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/61507


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