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Title: Crafting livelihoods, negotiating challenges and realising opportunities : an ethnography of life, learning and work amongst young Ghanaian weavers
Author: Clifford Collard, Niamh Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 1953
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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'Crafting livelihoods, negotiating challenges and realising opportunities: an ethnography of life, learning and work amongst young Ghanaian weavers' brings together the anthropology of work, apprenticeship and heritage to ask how, in contexts characterised by economic precarity, young Ghanaian craftspeople manage the various challenges and opportunities of their working and educational lives. The research is based on my own apprenticeship as an agbamevo kente weaver in a workshop in the eastern Ghanaian town of Kpetoe Agotime during thirteen months of fieldwork, conducted in three periods between September 2012 and June 2015. Tracing the development of the craft skills and social strategies which young weavers need to forge livelihoods in contexts of economic uncertainty, the thesis also considers how questions of heritage, religion and aspiration frame and intersect with young weavers' engagement with craftwork and their broader livelihood strategies. This project embeds an anthropological understanding of craft within wider discussions of young people's experiences of work, learning, livelihoods and aspiration. Taking a multifaceted approach to the various strategies and practices which constitute young weavers' livelihoods, the ethnography grapples with the complexities of young craftspeople's work and learning, and their ongoing attempts to carve out dignified, hopeful and meaningful lives in contexts characterised by social change and economic precarity. As such, grounded in the particular experience of Kpetoe's weavers, this thesis also speaks to wider concerns about contemporary experiences of youth in worlds increasingly riven by uncertainty and inequality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral