Economics, Relationality and The Good Life in Chiawa, Zambia

Sarah C. White

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

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The chapter draws on fieldwork in Chiawa, Zambia, to ask what it means to talk of ‘the good life beyond growth’ in contexts of marginality and economic hardship. The chapter begins with a brief summary of villagers’ own perspectives on what a good life (or ‘wellbeing’) means. These emphasise the centrality of material sufficiency but locate this in a relational context: the importance of ‘taking care’ of others. The following section describes how the poverty of local livelihoods is only one part of the economy of Chiawa. It exists alongside, and is deeply intertwined with, a ‘modern’ development sector of high inputs and high profits. The chapter closes by describing what can be learned from the Chiawa case. Theoretically, it suggests the need to make relationality central to understandings of wellbeing. Substantively, it shows that Chiawa villagers do consider economic development to be a vital component of ‘the good life’, but that this needs to take a form that puts people and the environment, not simply growth and profits, at the centre.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGood Life Beyond Growth
Subtitle of host publicationNew Perspectives
EditorsHartmut Rosa, Christoph Henning
Place of PublicationLondon, U. K.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781138687882
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Ecological Economics


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