Reaching the Larger World: New Forms of Social Collaboration in Pikine, Senegal

Simone, AbdouMaliq. 2003. Reaching the Larger World: New Forms of Social Collaboration in Pikine, Senegal. Africa, 73(2), pp. 226-250. ISSN 0001-9720 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Actors in fluid African urban environments try to make collaborative social action work, collective responsibility enforceable, and instruments of power effective and legitimate. These efforts give rise to an uneasy tension between the adoption of normative discourses concerning urban management and governance, the ways in which urban residents attempt to adapt to a vast range of new opportunities and crises, and the role of the city as a place of experimentation. Given this tension, what are diverse groups of African urban residents doing to make cities habitable and to use cities as a means of enlarging the spatial parameters in which they operate? Focusing on the site of one of urban Africa's major governance restructuring projects, Pikine, Senegal, the article discusses a particular instance of translocal economic collaboration among three discrete groups of women. Whereas the major intervention, the City Project, sought to promote greater co-ordination among the localities making up Pikine, ‘real’ co-ordination, as exemplified by these women's collaboration, may be taking place in unanticipated and relatively invisible ways. Through examining some of the intricate difficulties actors often face in operating at translocal levels, ‘small leaps’ across scale are sometimes significant accomplishments and potentially important precursors to new extended forms of economic collaboration.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP) [2003-2015]



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Date Deposited:

05 Oct 2015 10:17

Last Modified:

16 Dec 2016 17:18

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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