The debate on middle classes in Africa – and other regions of the global South – has raised great interest among anthropologists and sociologists. In the last years there has been considerable progress in this debate: Social scientists have criticised the mainly economic discourses on “the African middle-class” and the quantitative definitions by income or consumption used there. Anthropology and Sociology showed their potential to improve the discussion on middle classes by adding descriptions on differences between groups within the middle classes and by offering a perspective on agency of individuals. As a result, the idea of a relatively homogenous group has been challenged. This workshop aims at bringing together perspectives on middle classes in Africa from Anthropology, Sociology and other disciplines. Furthermore, we want to discuss strengths and weaknesses of specific (disciplinary) approaches. Also, the workshop should provide an opportunity to reflect on empirical results and/or concepts and definitions.
Workshop venue: Iwalewahaus, Wölfelstraße 2, 95444 Bayreuth