Ibi tse yie (some people are better off): Wealth Re-distribution Mechanisms in the Coastal Town Moree, Ghana
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Motorization of the artisanal fishery sector led to heightened social stratification in Ghanaian coastal fisheries. That stratification occurred because some households could not afford to adopt the new innovation. This thesis attempts to understand the socio-cultural underpinnings influencing the livelihood strategies of the fishers in Moree, a major Ghanaian coastal town. The research problem is why the institutions which influence the re-distribution of wealth in Moree have been maintained over the years, in spite of modernization in the fisheries industry. In the Moree township, there is a process of re-distribution of wealth from the richest down to the poorest. Rich fishers have the moral obligation to assist poorer ones in order to maintain the former’s status as rich. Poor fishers also have roles they are expected to perform in order to demonstrate that they deserve such assistance. The study examines the intricate interpersonal relationships between the rich and the poor and the reliance of the poor on the rich for their daily livelihoods. This study is based on a survey informed by the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach; of forty-five households in Moree. Those households range from the poorest to the richest; and the study focuses on the means/assets available to them and how they sustain a living through the use of those assets. An institutional approach is the main theoretical framework used in this research. The analysis examines local institutions promoting redistribution of wealth from the rich and wealthier groups to the poor and/or marginalized groups. It is argued that an important reason why the rich fulfill their duty of helping the poor is to maintain their position as respectable citizens. This is also a requirement to become rich in this fishing community.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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