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Pröpper, M., Falk, T., Domptail, S., Große, L.M. and Kowalski, B. 2013. Partly subsistent household economies and modern consumerism in the Namibian Kavango: Assets, income, expenditure and socio-economic stratification. In: Oldeland, J., Erb, C., Finckh, M. and Jürgens, N. (eds). Environmental Assessments in the Okavango Region. Biodiversity and Ecology, 5: 379–391


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Partly subsistent household economies and modern consumerism in the Namibian Kavango: Assets, income, expenditure and socio-economic stratification.

Summary / Notes:

The Okavango Basin encompasses a wide range of ecosystems and, corresponding to its extension across Angola, Botswana and Namibia, a multitude of communities with diverse socio-economic co: Households in the rural and urban Kavango region of Namibia experience the effects of rapid global economic change, mostly indicated by the emergence of new markets for consumer goods, the replacement of traditional barter with cash economies, and the parallel and subsequent incentives of myriad new consumer items. Overall this process of increasing consumerism transforms the aspirations and economic strategies of formerly subsistent famers. Presenting ethnographic, qualitative and quantitative data on household incomes, expenses and assets, we will illustrate this process for the central Kavango. We will especially discuss the implications of clearly visible economic stratification for communities and the natural resource base. Keywords: Commodification, consumerism, household inventories, modernity, Namibia, Okavango, social stratification, socio-economic baseline survey.

Year: 2013

Type: Journal Article

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