Urban Forum

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 433–447 | Cite as

“We Are Good at Surviving”: Street Hustling in Addis Ababa's Inner City

  • Marco Di NunzioEmail author


Recent studies of the informal economy have tried to understand how the politics of informal actors and their attempts at organizing themselves have created new collective platforms for social practice and social action in the African city (Lindell Africa's informal workers. Collective agency, alliances and transnational organizing in urban Africa (pp. 1–33) 2010; Meagher African Studies Review 54(2):47–72, 2011). These studies have suggested that the informal is not only the domain of the poor and their form of solidarity but also a terrain where new powerful actors in and outside the city might emerge and where power dynamics and forms of differentiation are at work. With a similar theoretical concern, this paper focuses on how engagement with the “street economy” among men between their mid-20s and mid-30s in Addis Ababa's inner city reveals broader experiences of exclusion and marginalization.


Hustling Street Social navigation Exclusion Marginality Addis Ababa 



Special acknowledgements go to the Wenner Gren Foundation, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Wolfson College and All Souls' College at the University of Oxford, and the British Institute in Eastern Africa for their support. I also thank the staff at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies at Addis Ababa for facilitating my research in Ethiopia. Finally, a special thanks go to my informants and my neighbors in Addis Ababa to whom this paper is dedicated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wolfson CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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