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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Kinshasa: an urban elite considers city, nation and State
Author:Freund, BillISNI
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies (ISSN 0258-9001)
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:urban life
middle class
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02589001.2011.533058
Abstract:The declining salience of the nation State has led to an interest in whether other socially constructed forms, such as the city, have replaced it as a source of accumulation, belief and identity. This article seeks to explore whether this is true in the case of the capital of one of Africa's least successful States, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A survey explored the views towards the city of Kinshasa of a variety of middle-class professional people in different occupations, resident in different quarters of the city, and with roots in different parts of the DRC. Despite their somewhat abject material condition and despite extensive contacts internationally, the old dream of the nation State remains relatively strong among this elite while feelings towards the city largely reflect its situation in that dream rather than any new kind of loyalty. Members of this class have extensive national networks of professional contact that help define their identity. New kinds of urban identity with cultural or political meaning beyond this could not be discerned contrary to the perspective held out initially. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]