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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Gender and livelihoods: Mapping the economic strategies of porters in Accra, Ghana
by Yeboah, Muriel A., Ph.D., West Virginia University, 2008, 260; 3326928
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation investigates the livelihood strategies of men and women porters in Accra, Ghana. Porters are people who transport goods from one location to another in and around market places in cities of southern Ghana. They fit into the social category of urban poor people because with no education or workable skills, they migrate from northern and rural parts of Ghana to work as porters and engage in other marginal activities. The main argument of this study is that the activities of porters is directly influenced by the context in which they find themselves and that context is a factor of both global and local economic, political, social as well as cultural factors. A conceptual framework that links concepts in the urban livelihood framework with feminist literatures is used along with feminist and qualitative methodologies that include survey, focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and observations. Four markets, Makola, Tema Station, CMB and Abobgloshie in the central business district of Accra, the capital of Ghana were selected as the study sites. Findings indicate that the present livelihood activities of porters’ are a factor of their pre-migration local environmental context and the current environmental conditions in Accra which are both influenced by broader scale socioeconomic and political processes. Consequently, porters rely on a wide variety of resources in their strategies yet their livelihoods are characterized by low income below subsistence. The agency of porters is evident through the numerous coping and adaptation strategies that they adapt in the city. This research makes evident that gender ideologies affect the strategies of men and women porters due to gender differential in access to resources and the utilization of resources.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Oberhauser, Ann
School: West Virginia University
School Location: United States -- West Virginia
Source: DAI-A 69/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Geography, Labor economics, Gender studies, Urban planning, Administration of Urban Planning and Community and Rural Development
Keywords: Accra, Africa, Dev., Economic strategies, Gender, Geography, Ghana, Livelihoods, Porters, Urban
Publication Number: 3326928
ISBN: 978-0-549-78742-6
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