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Thirsty Men and Thrifty Women: Gender, Power and Agency in the Rural Beer Trade in Burkina Faso
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
2010 (English)In: Beer in Africa: Drinking Spaces, States and Selves / [ed] Steven Van Wolputte, Mattia Fumanti, Berlin: LIT Verlag , 2010, 1, 195-222 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Studies of artisanal brewing throughout Africa point to the same mechanism: women brew beer for a predominantly male clientele. Hence, the beer trade makes money flow from men to women.

In this study from a Bobo village in the cotton zone of western Burkina Faso, I explore the strategies women employ to earn money by brewing: I am interested in how gender intersects with other social structures, creating different spaces for women to act strategically. Based on a detailed description of the brewing process and of the commercialization of beer, I highlight the choices women make in order to succeed with their trade. Indeed, even if the structures of authority within which women make their choices are male-dominated, women in Bala are not powerless, on the contrary. I show that women differ in their ability to make a profit from brewing depending on their ability to manoeuvre within and between, on the one hand, their position within the intersecting structures of gender, age and generation (within the household), and, on the other hand, gender, kinship, alliance, class and ethnicity (outside the household).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin: LIT Verlag , 2010, 1. 195-222 p.
Keyword [en]
gender, brewing, women's economy, Bobo
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-45042ISBN: 9783825812577ISBN: 9783037359150OAI: diva2:372497
Available from: 2010-11-25 Created: 2010-11-09 Last updated: 2010-12-03Bibliographically approved

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Helmfrid, Sigrun
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