Appropriating Social Citizenship

Appropriating Social Citizenship

Subtitle: 
Women's Labour, Poverty, and Entrepreneurship in the Manual Workers Union of Botswana
Author: 
Werbner, Pnina
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of Southern African Studies (JSAS)
Source: 
Journal of Southern African Studies,Vol.36,No.3,September 2010,pp.693-710
Abstract: 

Interrogating critiques of the 'African labour aristocracy' thesis, the article proposes that public service industrial-class manual workers in Botswana form, if not a labour 'aristocracy' in the sense first defined by Saul and Arrighi, then a marginal worker 'elite'. They are privileged in having a regular salary above minimum pay, augmented by periodic lump-sum gratuity payments. This sets them apart from the other low-paid workers in the private sector, casual workers in the informal economy and a vast army of unemployed job seekers. In the absence of a national unemployment benefit scheme in Botswana, the article explores some of the strategies deployed by women members of the Manual Workers Union in their attempts to contend with the spectre of future unemployment and impoverishment. In gender terms, the article highlights the independence, autonomy and decision-making capacity of women trade unionist leaders, who straddle the worlds of workers' rights and citizens' rights, and manoeuvre their way through the maze of rules and regulations they encounter in both.

Language: 
Country focus: 

CITATION: Werbner, Pnina. Appropriating Social Citizenship . : Taylor & Francis , . Journal of Southern African Studies,Vol.36,No.3,September 2010,pp.693-710 - Available at: http://library.au.int/appropriating-social-citizenship-3