The Everyday Life of the Poor in Cameroon: The Role of Social Networks in Meeting Needs

1st Edition

Nathanael Ojong

December 17, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 160 Pages - 7 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367140526 - CAT# K410239
Series: Routledge Contemporary Africa

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This book provides a detailed account of the lives of the poor in Cameroon, particularly their use of social networks to meet everyday needs.

Based on fieldwork in Cameroon, the book provides a distinctive approach that draws on social network theory to shed light on how the poor make a living. Though embeddedness in social networks is perceived as the root cause of human achievement we know little about the social factors and processes that shape poor people’s decisions to seek help from strong, weak, or disposable ties in an African context. Focusing on network practice, rather than network structure, the author argues that that the ability of poor people to meet their diverse needs rests on favourable interactions. He examines various issues crucial to the lives of the poor, such as healthcare, death and funerals, access to finance, and basic consumption needs. Particular focus is given to the complicated nature of social relationships, the different contexts where these relationships take place, and how both these factors shape poor individuals’ decisions about whom to turn to when attempting to meet their needs, including how they actually meet their needs.

This book will be of interest to researchers, teachers, students, and policy makers in African Studies economics, development studies, sociology, and anthropology.

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