Mining habitat, house and home during an East African gold boom: economic and emotional dimensions

Bryceson, D. F., Jønsson, J. B. and Shand, M. C. (2021) Mining habitat, house and home during an East African gold boom: economic and emotional dimensions. Journal of Eastern African Studies, 15(4), pp. 663-684. (doi: 10.1080/17531055.2021.1989135)

[img] Text
258510.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



This article interrogates migrants’ economic and emotionally entwined decision-making regarding migration and settlement in unfolding stages of a gold mining boom. Three Tanzanian gold mining settlements representing temporal, spatial and scalar differences along the gold mining trajectory are contrasted: an artisanal rush site, a mature artisanal mining settlement and Geita town, site of a large industrial gold mine. Our data derives from in-depth interviews with miners, traders, service providers and farmers supplemented by a household survey. Interviewees’ verbatim narratives describing their work and family life are laced with feelings of both anticipation and apprehension. Strategic calculations and contingency thinking combine with emotional anxiety as they pursue efforts to ‘get ahead’ during the mining boom. Amidst the uncertainty of stressful work lives, and obstacles to secure housing and residence in infrastructurally deficient, unsafe and polluted mining environments, a ‘deferred sense of home’ surfaces in many mining settlement residents’ narratives. Seeking a ‘comfortable and secure home eventually’ is a coping mechanism for bridging the gap between initial high expectations and their current material reality.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors are grateful for the support of the University of Glasgow and Department for International Development UK (DfID) and the Economic and Social Research Council funding (ESRC RES167-25-0488).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Shand, Mr Michael and Bryceson, Dr Deborah
Authors: Bryceson, D. F., Jønsson, J. B., and Shand, M. C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Eastern African Studies
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1753-1063
Published Online:19 October 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Eastern African Studies 15(4): 663-684
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record