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Title: 'The Arada have been eaten' : living through marginality in Addis Ababa's inner city
Author: Di Nunzio, Marco
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 909X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis examines marginality as a regime of interconnectedness. Drawing on the ethnographic material from a 16-month-fieldwork between October 2009 and December 2010 on the street economy and streetlife in Arada, the old city centre of Addis Ababa’s inner city, I argue that marginalized subjects are not to be seen as social actors that inhabit and create alternative and parallel social, political and economic realities away from the mainstream society. Rather, the way the urban poor are connected and integrated in the broader political economy of the Ethiopian urban society frames and defines modalities, forms and experiences of marginality. From this perspective, this thesis focuses on the on-going reconfiguration of the street economy in Addis Ababa’s inner city. Since the early 2000s, the increasing concern with poverty reduction and good governance in the development agenda has concurred with the attempts of the ruling party to expand its machinery of political control and mobilization at the grassroots of urban society. In this context, under the impact of development programs promoting the establishment of small-scale enterprises, the street economy has undergone a pervasive process of formalization and politicization that has come to advance the realization of an authoritarian form of developmental state, while imposing a regime of unskilled and badly paid labour on the street. This thesis examines this process by looking at the history of streetlife in Arada, as a terrain of social, economic and political practice, and it recounts the everyday life and life trajectories of those involved in the street economy. In particular, I look at how the political reconfiguration of the street economy has come to intertwine with the way living through marginality and dealing with forms of social inequality on the street have been historically conceptualized and experienced in Addis Ababa’s inner city.
Supervisor: Pratten, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social anthropology ; marginality ; Ethiopia ; Addis Ababa ; gangs ; youth ; politics