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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Bolt, Maxim 2016. Accidental Neoliberalism and the Performance of Management: Hierarchies in Export Agriculture on the Zimbabwean-South African Border. The Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 52, Issue. 4, p. 561.


    Archambault, Julie Soleil 2015. Ethnographies of Uncertainty in Africa.


    Bolt, Maxim 2014. The sociality of the wage: money rhythms, wealth circulation, and the problem with cash on the Zimbabwean-South African border. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 20, Issue. 1, p. 113.


    Callebert, Ralph 2014. TRANSCENDING DUAL ECONOMIES: REFLECTIONS ON ‘POPULAR ECONOMIES IN SOUTH AFRICA’. Africa, Vol. 84, Issue. 01, p. 119.


    Bolt, Maxim 2013. Producing permanence: employment, domesticity and the flexible future on a South African border farm. Economy and Society, Vol. 42, Issue. 2, p. 197.


    Hartnett, Alexandra and Dawdy, Shannon Lee 2013. The Archaeology of Illegal and Illicit Economies*. Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 42, Issue. 1, p. 37.


    Callebert, Ralph 2012. Rethinking the Underclass: Future Directions in Southern African Labor History. International Labor and Working-Class History, Vol. 82, p. 136.


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WAGED ENTREPRENEURS, POLICED INFORMALITY: WORK, THE REGULATION OF SPACE AND THE ECONOMY OF THE ZIMBABWEAN–SOUTH AFRICAN BORDER

Abstract
ABSTRACT

Keen to show the fluidity of border areas, and the limits of state control, much anthropological scholarship on borders highlights arrangements, activities and opportunities that pass beneath the official radar. But while such a clandestine focus casts border dwellers as preoccupied with resisting state regulation, this article shows how Zimbabwean–South African border dwellers make the most of their location by being visible to state officials, as waged farm workers. They seek agricultural jobs as a foothold in building lucrative businesses. Moreover, waged farm workforces are hubs of border trade, as workers remit goods for resale as a response to the crisis at home in Zimbabwe. The article therefore questions the wider theoretical opposition between the creative entrepreneurship of the informal economy and the drudgery of formal employment. Formal and informal modes of livelihood constitute one another, intersect and are interdependent. This article unpacks the spatial and temporal articulations between waged work and other means of making ends meet. In so doing, it suggests fixating less on the border itself as a distinctive feature, replete with smugglers and murky goings-on, and appreciating the various meanings of work in borderland economies.

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RÉSUMÉ

Dans un souci de montrer la fluidité des régions frontalières et les limites du contrôle de l’État, une grande partie des travaux anthropologiques consacrés aux frontières met en exergue les modalités, les activités et les opportunités qui échappent à la surveillance officielle. Or, alors que l'accent mis sur la clandestinité présente les frontaliers comme des personnes préoccupées à résister au contrôle de l’État, cet article montre comment les habitants de la zone frontalière entre le Zimbabwe et l'Afrique du Sud profitent de leur situation géographique en étant visibles au regard des agents publics, en tant que travailleurs agricoles salariés. Ils recherchent des emplois agricoles qui leur servent de tremplin au développement d'activités lucratives. De plus, la main-d’œuvre agricole salariée représente une plaque tournante pour le commerce frontalier, avec des ouvriers chargés de faire passer des marchandises destinées à la revente, en réponse à la crise qui frappe le Zimbabwe. L'article remet donc en cause l'opposition théorique plus large entre l'entrepreunariat créatif de l’économie informelle et la pénibilité de l'emploi formel. Les modes de subsistance formels et informels se constituent mutuellement, s'entrecroisent and sont interdépendants. Cet article met à jour les articulations spatiales et temporelles entre le travail salarié et d'autres moyens de joindre les deux bouts. Ce faisant, il suggère de moins se focaliser sur la frontière elle-même en tant qu’élément distinctif pullulant de contrebandiers et d'affaires louches, et d'apprécier les différentes significations du travail dans les économies des régions frontalières.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. A. Andersson (2006) ‘Informal moves, informal markets: international migrants and traders from Mzimba District, Malawi’, African Affairs 105 (420): 375–97.

P. Bohannan (1955) ‘Some principles of exchange and investment among the Tiv’, American Anthropologist 57 (1): 6070.

A. du Toit (1993) ‘The micro-politics of paternalism: the discourses of management and resistance on South African fruit and wine farms’, Journal of Southern African Studies 19 (2): 314–36.

J. Ferguson (1992) ‘The cultural topography of wealth: commodity paths and the structure of property in rural Lesotho’, American Anthropologist 94 (1): 5573.

D. K. Flynn (1997) ‘“We are the border”: identity, exchange and the state along the Bénin–Nigeria border, American Ethnologist 24 (2): 311–30.

R. Ginsberg (1996) ‘“Now I stay in a house”: renovating the matchbox in apartheid-era Soweto’, African Studies 55 (2): 127–39.

D. James (2011) ‘The return of the broker: consensus, hierarchy and choice in South African land reform’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 17 (2): 318–38.

J. L. Jones (2010) ‘“Nothing is straight in Zimbabwe”: the rise of the kukiya-kiya economy 2000–2008’, Journal of Southern African Studies 36 (2): 285–99.

R. Lee (2005) ‘Reconstructing “home” in apartheid Cape Town: African women and the process of settlement’, Journal of Southern African Studies 31 (3): 611–30.

V. Muzvidziwa (2001) ‘Zimbabwe's cross-border women traders: multiple identities and responses to new challenges’, Journal of Contemporary African Studies 19 (1): 6780.

M. Bloch and J. P. Parry (1989) ‘Introduction’ in J. P. Parry and M. Bloch (eds), Money and the Morality of Exchange. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

B. Rutherford (2008) ‘An unsettled belonging: Zimbabwean farm workers in Limpopo Province, South Africa’, Journal of Contemporary African Studies 26 (4): 401–15.

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Africa
  • ISSN: 0001-9720
  • EISSN: 1750-0184
  • URL: /core/journals/africa
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