Affective Materialism: Sentiments, Materialism, and the Developers of New Maturities in Botswana

2019-2020

I plan to complete a book on how the growth of materialism, government projects to develop youth focusing especially on entrepreneurialism, and intersubjective ideas about selfhood built through sentiment and emotion come together in the ways in which young people devise paths to maturity (adulthood) in Botswana. A quite sudden rise in consumer goods and shopping sites has provoked a new materialism in Botswana. Material items have long had a place in the ways in which people “develop  themselves,” both through acquisition and desire, and through the mutualities formed through sentiments and sentiment-laden acts. Yet their new prominence in a context of sharp inequalities invites attention to how models of personhood based on making the self through sentiments with others shapes forms of dependency and independence, as youth seek new forms of maturity.

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