Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Small-Small: Moral Economy and the Marketspace in Northern Ghana
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5986-7165
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Over the past decade, the Ghanaian government has tried to include and accommodate the many people working in the so-called informal economy. This formalization process is in line with a global market-driven development discourse. The small-scale traders selling their goods from marketplaces and along the streets in major cities have been of particular interest.

While the Ghanaian government defines these actors as working in an “informal sector” and thus beyond the formal political and economic system, it simultaneously targets them with welfare services and various policies with the purpose of including them in the creation of a modern welfare state and shaping them into moral and entrepreneurial citizens.

In Tamale in northern Ghana, years of political neglect, violence, and structural adjustment have led to small-scale traders taking over streets, sidewalks, and infrastructure, which has created a boundless and dynamic marketspace that far exceeds the delimited and politically defined marketplaces. For the state, therefore, much of the formalization process is about restoring the control and power of public space through evictions and relocations of traders. In conjunction with the inclusive welfare services, this demonstrates the contradictions entailed in the politics of informality.

The study is based on an ethnographic fieldwork among small-scale traders in northern Ghana with a specific interest in the events that occur at the intersection where state, market, and citizenship meet. By asking what it means to be a trader in this contradictory process of formalization, the dissertation aims to understand this transformative moment in Ghana’s political and economic history.

In this study the emic notion of small-small is used to frame the norms of gradual progress and letting others in that define the moral economy of small-scale trade. Norms, values, and obligations generate trust and solidarity within the marketspace. But more than that, small-small produces a form of politics against an obstructive and unreliable state and it guides traders into the future by shaping dreams, aspirations, and possibilities. Situated in traders’ daily lives, work, and relationships, and through the small-small lens, this thesis investigates the underlying moralities of formalization. It describes the politics of the Ghanaian state, which in its attempt to create an inclusive welfare society, struggles to both protect the moral dynamics of small-scale trade while adhering to the norms and standards of an open liberalized economy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University , 2018. , p. 233
Series
Stockholm studies in social anthropology, ISSN 0347-0830 ; N.S.,20
Keywords [en]
Ghana, small-scale trade, moral economy, informality, space and place, citizenship
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157448ISBN: 978-91-7797-234-1 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-235-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157448DiVA, id: diva2:1221771
Public defence
2018-09-07, Ahlmannsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-08-15 Created: 2018-06-20 Last updated: 2018-08-14Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Small-Small: Moral Economy and the Marketspace in Northern Ghana(1981 kB)152 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1981 kBChecksum SHA-512
04b12b81387cdf75e038cd0107e3831d05b061dae48d1ba53b9e6699090c70fb44c004c0c8f7d58ab161f0b04fb64a69b8759389ae0756a04a5715037948bf4e
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Jennische, Ulrik
By organisation
Department of Social Anthropology
Social Anthropology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 152 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 739 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf