Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
BottleneckMoving, Building, and Belonging in an African City$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Caroline Melly

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226488875

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226489063.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Introduction: Embouteillage

Introduction: Embouteillage

(p.1) Introduction: Embouteillage

Caroline Melly

University of Chicago Press

This chapter introduces the reader to the profound cultural paradox at the heart of this book: that mobility—particularly transnational migration—is both a cherished collective value and an increasingly restricted and impossible goal for the majority of Dakar’s residents. Beginning with the anthropologist’s story of “arrival” in the field, the introduction considers the urban embouteillage as a tangible expression of this paradox and as a critical indigenous framework for making sense of its contradictory effects on urban life and policy. The chapter does three things: It familiarizes the reader with the concept of the bottleneck and its everyday uses. It reflects on the challenges and opportunities offered by ethnographic research in this volatile context. It elaborates the bottleneck as an instance and site of infrastructural overload; a gendered experience of citizenship; an everyday bureaucratic reality after structural adjustment; and a critical vantage point for writing about Africa’s worldliness.

Keywords:   bottleneck, infrastructure, gender, ethnographic research, bureaucracy, citizenship, migration, Africa, structural adjustment, mobility

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.