Abstract

Jane Guyer has clearly demonstrated in Marginal Gains (2004) that the ranking of people historically was linked to quantitative scales of money. Guyer's study focuses on the Igbo and Ibibio, two societies in which ranking was by achievement rather than ascription. How do ranking and money interface in other African societies with strong monarchical or centralized social systems? What impact does currency instability have on rank in such societies? This paper examines these questions. Focusing on the Yoruba of Nigeria and the Akan of Ghana, it evaluates the degree to which ranking has been affected by currency devaluation and economic instability since the mid-1980s.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1555-2462
Print ISSN
0002-0206
Pages
pp. 87-109
Launched on MUSE
2007-09-25
Open Access
No
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