Global Exchanges and Gender Perspectives in Africa. Edited by Jean-Bernard Ouédraogo with Roseline Achieng. Dakar/Kampala, CODESRIA/Fountain Publishers, 2011, 200 p., ISBN 978-2-86978-488-8 (CODESRIA) and ISBN: 978-9970-25-109-4 (Fountain)Number of visits: 5564
The global perspectives adopted in this volume by the authors, from different
academic disciplines and social experiences, ought not to be locked in sterile
linearity which within process of globalisation would fail to perceive, the irreversible
opening up of the worlds of the south. There is the need within the framework
of the analyses presented here, to quite cogently define the sense of the notion
of the market. The market here does not refer to saving or the localised
exchange of goods, a perspective which is imposed by normative perceptions.
In fact, a strictly materialistic reading of exchange would be included, since
every social practice and interaction implies a communitarian transaction;
meanwhile the exchange system under study here broadens to root out the
obligation of the maximisation of mercantile profit from the cycle of exchange.
Trade here would have a meaning closer to those of old, one of human interaction,
in a way that one could also refer to “bon commerce” between humans.
In one way, trade places itself at the heart of social exchanges, included the
power of money, and is carried along by a multitude of social interactions. The
reader is called upon to take into account the major mercantile formations of
the social trade system, the market society, without forgetting the diversity of
exchange routes as well as the varying modalities of social construction, at the
margins and within market logics – those of implicit value in trade between
humans – which the texts herein also seek to review.
The age-old project of restructuring the domestic economy, the market society
as it has developed in the West, – whence it has set out to conquer the whole
wide world – places at the very centre of the current capitalist expansion the
challenge of imperatively reshaping gender identity, inter alia, in market relations.
Jean-Bernard Ouédraogo, Professor of sociology, is Director of Research at CNRS, LAIOS, IIAC, CNRS/EHESS, Paris, France and Director of the Research Group on Local Initiatives (GRIL) at the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. From 2002 to 2008, he was Deputy Executive Secretary of CODESRIA in Dakar, Senegal.
Roseline M.Achieng’ is a sociologist. She is currently in charge of developing the academic and research components of the sociology sections of the School of Arts, Monash South Africa, a campus of Monash University, Australia.