African materiality and the house

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

2 Scopus citations


This chapter looks at housing in two Ghanaian urban contexts: Accra, Ghana’s capital in the south, and Tamale, the gateway city to the country’s north, and its environs. It focuses on materiality, place attachment and lifestyle among people in both locales. African cities are places of experimentation for engagement, they are circuits of migration and commodity exchange and they produce new urbanized domains which are linked to Europe and the US. The materiality of the house perpetuates old practices that are tied to an ancient materiality: the spatial organization of the house, traditional roles and food preparation and consumption. The house in Sabon Zongo embodies tensions between lineage culture and urban/community culture. As the Dagomba new elite depart from the size, proportions, and materials of the Global North, they express a new cultural orientation that is the expression of taste and class position.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Anthropology and the City
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781317296980
ISBN (Print)9781138126091
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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