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Produits chinois en Afrique : réseaux de diffusion et modes de consommation


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Produits chinois en Afrique : réseaux de diffusion et modes de consommation

This panel intends to offer a new perspective on the massive arrival of Chinese products effecting Africa for the past fifteen years. Available in markets in even the most remote villages of the continent, this wide range of manufactured goods embodies for many Africans a new relationship with China.

Despite the primacy of China-made goods, this dimension of Sino-African trade still remains sidelined behind the strategic export of African raw materials. The low prices and poor quality of China-made goods often mean that they are categorized as an anecdotal dimension of Chinese presence in Africa. In this panel, we intend to put these objects (and their flows or circulation networks) back at the centre of the analysis, by focusing on the ways in which African societies are appropriating and integrating Chinese goods.

The focus on Chinese goods and their circulation allows us to offer new insights on the transformations induced by increased SinoAfrican trade, including, most importantly, the entry of Africa in mass consumption through the networks of globalization from below (Tarrius, 2002).

The various papers of this panel focus on the consumers of Chinese goods, drawing attention to consumption practices and logics, process of appropriation, and even to entrepreneurial potential related to the acquisition of these goods ; Chinese goods traders – importers or retailers – adressing topics such as the trajectories of accumulation, business strategies, network reconfigurations, or restructuring of the competition ; and the sometimes ambiguous African perceptions of the China-made goods. 

 

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