© 2018

Middle Classes in Africa

Changing Lives and Conceptual Challenges

  • Lena Kroeker
  • David O'Kane
  • Tabea Scharrer

Part of the Frontiers of Globalization book series (FOG)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Tabea Scharrer, David O’Kane, Lena Kroeker
    Pages 1-31
  3. Part I

  4. Part II

  5. Part III

  6. Part IV

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 327-376

About this book


This volume challenges the concept of the ‘new African middle class’ with new theoretical and empirical insights into the changing lives in Sub-Saharan Africa. Diverse middle classes are on the rise, but models of class based on experiences from other regions of the world cannot be easily transferred to the African continent. Empirical contributions, drawn from a diverse range of contexts, address both African histories of class formation and the political roles of the continent’s middle classes, and also examine the important interdependencies that cut across inter-generational, urban-rural and class divides. This thought-provoking book argues emphatically for a revision of common notions of the 'middle class', and for the inclusion of insights 'from the South' into the global debate on class.

Middle Classes in Africa will be of interest to students and scholars across a range of disciplines, as well as NGOs and policy makers with an interest in African societies.


Social class Social mobility Imperialism Capitalisim Post-colonialism Africa's Middle Classes Nubians of Kibera Emerging Middle Classes in Namibia

Editors and affiliations

  • Lena Kroeker
    • 1
  • David O'Kane
    • 2
  • Tabea Scharrer
    • 3
  1. 1.Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African StudiesBayreuthGermany
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Social AnthropologyHalleGermany
  3. 3.Max Planck Institute for Social AnthropologyHalleGermany

About the editors

Lena Kroeker is Research Fellow at the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, University of Bayreuth, Germany

David O’Kane
is an Associate of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany

Tabea Scharrer
is Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany

Bibliographic information


“The volume is well structured, offers nuanced questions, and engages with relevant challenges relating to current trends in social formations of African societies.” (Henning Melber, Africa Spectrum, Vol. 53 (1), 2018)