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The Political Aesthetics of Middle Class Housing in (not so) Neoliberal Mozambique

Sumich, Jason and Nielsen, Morten (2020) 'The Political Aesthetics of Middle Class Housing in (not so) Neoliberal Mozambique.' Antipode. ISSN 0066-4812

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Abstract

This article explores the social and material repercussions of middle class aspirations in a system that is still infused by socialist aesthetics in Maputo, Mozambique. We argue the activation of “middle classness” reproduces ingrained inequalities and boundaries. This is demonstrated through two ethnographic case studies of urban housing, long central to imaginaries of prosperity: First, fearing downward mobility, members of the upper middle class seek to embody a liberal ideology of ‘autonomy’, while simultaneously being dependent on state structures. Second, members of the lower middle class attempt to create enclaves to experiment with forms of privatization normally only accessible to a privileged elite. Through this examination of the ways in which a spectrum of privileged urbanites attempts to secure their position in the face of a precarious future, the article outlines middle classness under contemporary capitalist conditions and how this is shaped by the legacies of the past.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: middle class, urban housing, social stratification, political aesthetic, ideology, Maputo
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2020 14:38
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2020 14:38
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26778

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