Numéro 22

Crafting a Better Future in Liberia

Hustling and Associational Life in Post-War Monrovia

Page 37
Andrea Kaufmann

Despite post-war reconstruction, Monrovia is an insecure, uncertain city. Many people are «hustling», an emic term for insecure income-generating activities. «Hustlers» are often part of associations. Associations strengthen identities, and form social relationships and solidarities. They ll the gap of war-affected social relationships, and contribute to social security, solidarity and integrate the marginalized. This article shows how social imaginaries serve as motor of change, and how associational life shapes social spaces as islands of certainty amidst uncertainty.

Andrea Kaufmann obtained her PhD from the University of Basel, Switzerland. She is affiliated to the Research Group on Political Transformations at the Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Basel. Andrea Kaufmann is interested in how local or national associations and their socially shared imaginaries of a better life serve as motors of change on social, political or cultural context of a war-affected setting. Her main interests are in the fields of conflict and peace studies, urban studies, associational life, gender and social relations in general in post-war societies in the West African conflict region, in particular Liberia.
University of Basel Institute of Social Anthropology Münsterplatz 19
, 4051 Basel