Association for Africanist Anthropology
Invited - Oral Presentation Session
Recent scholarship on the African middle classes focuses on a middle-aged cohort and generally assumes that social status remains stable over the life course. This contribution argues that a struggle to retain one’s social class across the life course is part of middle-class life in Kenya.
I will focus on those who currently lead a decent life in town and prepare for their life post-retirement. My ethnographic data suggests that the middle classes cannot afford life in town once there is no regular income.
I argue that entitlements and resources need to be saved and invested during an economically productive phase to lead a decent life after retirement outside the towns. A brief, focused ethnographic presentation will make room for a moderated discussion.