1 colour map, 5 colour genealogies, 2 b/w genealogies, 4 colour photographs, 2 b/w photographs
Text language: German
Social classes are usually considered entities that comprise entire families consisting of several generations. In African countries, most families are multi-class families. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Ghana, Liberia and New York, this study examines the diverse strategies and practices employed by members of three extended families from Ghana to encounter social inequality and class differences within their families. The local actors understand families as larger, flexible kinship networks that comprise several generations, numerous members and different lifestyles.
What does it mean for the kinship group when a small number of family members achieve upward social mobility through formal education and corresponding occupations? How is family redefined and how is support beyond one’s nuclear family negotiated? What factors facilitate or hinder a transgenerational transmission of the new middle-class status? To answer these central questions, the author analyses how the family members themselves remember their family history and thereby (re)construct family ties. It is a central concern of this book to show how social history and family history intertwine and how specific historic trends offer opportunities for upward social mobility or bring about social decline.