The ideology of middle class housing strategies in (not so) neoliberal Mozambique
(University of Essex)
Paper short abstract:
I explore urban temporalities through articulations of middle class housing in post-socialist Maputo, Mozambique. By exploring the ways in which actors try to secure their future, we discuss middle class contours under capitalist conditions and how this is shaped by the legacies of the past.
Paper long abstract:
Based on ethnographic data from Maputo, Mozambique, this presentation explores urban temporalities through articulations of new forms of middle class housing strategies on the 'inside' of a post-socialist political cosmology. Focusing on private housing strategies in Maputo, we identify modalities of middle classness that are being articulated within a socio-political system that is still infused by the aesthetics of socialism despite its collapse in the mid-1980s. Fearing the effects of downward mobility, members of the upper middle class who are close to the governing Frelimo party seeks to visibly embody a liberal ideology of 'autonomy', while simultaneously being dependent on state structures. Through an examination of the ways in which privileged social subjects attempt to secure their position in the face of an increasingly precarious future, the article outlines the contours of middle classness under contemporary capitalist conditions and how this is shaped by the legacies of the past.