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Contractual dependencies: disability and the bureaucracy of begging in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Devlieger, Clara (2018) Contractual dependencies: disability and the bureaucracy of begging in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. American Ethnologist. ISSN 0094-0496

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Identification Number: 10.1111/amet.12701

Abstract

One of the most conspicuous livelihood strategies for physically disabled people in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, is a particular style of begging known locally as “doing documents.” Confronted with the stigma of begging, disabled beggars create documents in an attempt to legitimize and regulate begging through formalization and bureaucracy, presenting their relationship with donors as NGO fund‐raising and government tax‐collecting. The dynamics of petitioning for these “contractual dependencies” provide a nuanced perspective on desired dependencies: dependencies can be presented in multiple ways, and people consider some dependencies more legitimate and valuable than others. Recipients are not passive but play a defining role in shaping these relationships, seeking a balance between proximity and desired distance to patrons.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journ...
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author © CC BY 4.0
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Anthropology
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2018 11:30
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2018 11:55
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Cambridge Home and EU Scholarship Scheme, Trinity College, Cambridge
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/90555

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