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Traders, Drivers and the National Health Insurance Scheme in Small Town Ghana
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
2012 (English)In: Urban Forum, ISSN 1015-3802, E-ISSN 1874-6330, Vol. 23, no 4, 467-481 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Based on anthropological fieldwork in the central market and taxi station of Koforidua, Ghana, this paper aims to improve our understanding of the social dynamics in the informal economy of a Ghanaian small town in relation to state policies. It strives to describe the way processes of formalization and informalization may coexist and interact during the implementation of the recent National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The ethnographic approach helps us to better understand how attitudes on NHIS are formed and the way information and values are disseminated.

Closely examining the social infrastructure of this setting contributes further to this understanding. In the marketplace, it is important to develop networks of personal relations with fellow traders, customers, and suppliers. At the taxi station, on the other hand, the most important strategy is to join the powerful local union. These strategies are ways for actors to gain security and protection against economic vulnerability in a competitive liberalized economy. In this regard, the NHIS has also provided opportunities for actors. While the NHIS is a way for the state to increase control over the informal economy, and gradually formalizing it, it simultaneously indirectly reinforces and confirms the existing informal strategies of networking.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 23, no 4, 467-481 p.
Keyword [en]
Koforidua, NHIS, Trade, Taxi, Informal economy, Formalization
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85803DOI: 10.1007/s12132-012-9177-6OAI: diva2:584912
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2013-02-08Bibliographically approved

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Jennische, Ulrik
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