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Changing the Rules: The Politics of Liberalization and the Urban Informal Economy in Tanzania
Synopses & Reviews
How are people in one of Africa's largest cities, Dar es Salaam, capable of surviving day to day when the downward decline of Tanzania's economy has become so pronounced that even high-ranking state employees receive among the lowest incomes in the country? In this impressively researched and highly original study, Aili Mari Tripp shows how the people of Dar es Salaam, through creativity and considerable ingenuity, supply for themselves the various goods and services that the government can no longer provide. With the growth of an informal economy, they have demonstrated resistance to state control, resulting in broad political, economic and social transformations within Tanzania. Moreover, the unprecedented participation of women in informal economic activities has had a profound effect on gender relations.
Tripp incorporates in-depth interviews and a field survey conducted at the household and micro-enterprise level in examining the influence and impact of the urban informal economy on Tanzanian society. This informal sector encompasses the enterprises of masons, cooks, cobblers, and tailors; a dizzying myriad of market vendors; even educators and doctors. Tripp shows how the urban informal economy challenges state-defined bases of social justice with alternative notions of economic equity. Her work is an essential contribution to the study of African politics and state-society relations.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 237-251) and index.
About the Author
Aili Mari Tripp is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Women's Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
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