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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Economy of Affection Revisited
Author:Hyden, Goran
Periodical:African Rural and Urban Studies
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:political economy
economic development
Economics and Trade
Development and Technology
Abstract:In 1980 the author of this article introduced the concept of the economy of affection as a way of better appreciating the social logic guiding human interaction in African societies. The main point of this concept was to empirically demonstrate that an analysis centred on the concept of class was not helpful when looking at societies in which precapitalist social formations persisted. Today the author is convinced that twenty years of critique of the concept of the economy of affection and of intellectual discourse on Africa have not preempted the potential usefulness of this concept as a tool of analysis. In this article he deals with the comments his critics have made on the concept, compares the economy of affection with other modes of collective action, and discusses the question of where it might be most fruitfully applied for empirical purposes. With some fifteen years of structural adjustment experience in Africa, it seems clear that the realities of economic life in African countries are influenced not only by the new economic and political dispensations, but also by forces that have their roots in the economy of affection. Though Marx may never have fully appreciated the significance of this type of economy, it is part of the political economy in Africa today. Bibliogr., notes.