African News

New book by Dr. Patience Mususa

13 October 2021 at 21:35 | 339 views

By Dr. Patience Mususa, Sweden

I would like to alert you to the publication of my book “There Used to Be Order: Life on the Copperbelt after the privatisation of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines” published by University of Michigan Press.

“There Used to Be Order” examines what happened to the texture of place and the experience of life on a Zambian Copperbelt town when Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) was privatised from the mid 1990s following the implementation of structural adjustment policies that introduced free market policies and drastically reduced social welfare. The Copperbelt has long been a locus for innovative research on urbanisation in Africa.

My study in its examination of middle-income decline directs us to thinking of the Copperbelt not only as an extractive locale for copper whose activities are affected by the market, but also as a place where the residents’ engagement with the reality of losing jobs and struggling to earn a living after the withdrawal of mine welfare is re-texturing simultaneously both the material and the social character of the place. It builds on an established anthropological engagement with the region that began with the Manchester school, which had done much to develop a theoretical approach to social change. The book contributes to this literature by reflecting on how landscape and the art of living are interwoven and co-produce possibilities that, owing to both historical contingencies and social formation, make certain forms of inhabiting the world more or less successful for some.

Electronic and hard copies can be purchased here: