Economics at your fingertips  

Pirate Towns: Reworking Social and Symbolic Infrastructures in Johannesburg and Douala

AbdouMaliq Simone
Additional contact information
AbdouMaliq Simone: International Affairs Program, The New School New York, 66 West l2th Street, New York, NY 10011, USA. Fax: 1 212 924 1292,

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 2, 357-370

Abstract: Through examinations of inner-city street economies in Johannesburg and mechanisms of emigration and political resistance in the Bapenda Omnisport and Mouchouchou quarters of Douala, the paper attempts to explore how notions of piracy might usefully elucidate the everyday practices of African urban residents attempting to operate more resourcefully in underresourced cities. Rather than being rooted in clearly defined familial, territorial and institutional relationships, residents increasingly seek out and manage a wide diversity of engagements within the city without long-term or clearly defined commitments. The key to realising movement within and among cities is to multiply the uses that can be made of resources of all kinds and this means the ability to put together different combinations of people with different skills, perspectives, linkages, identities and aspirations. Such complex and not easily identifiable forms of social organisation constitute a kind of perceptual system, a way of seeing that leads individuals and groups to put objects and experiences to many, otherwise unanticipated uses.

Date: 2006
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (text/html)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in Urban Studies from Urban Studies Journal Limited
Bibliographic data for series maintained by SAGE Publications ().

Page updated 2019-10-14
Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:43:y:2006:i:2:p:357-370