Dr Christopher  Webb

Dr Christopher Webb

Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral research fellow

Department of Anthropology

Key Expertise
South Africa

About me

I am trained as a human geographer although my research bridges social anthropology, political economy and critical youth studies. Broadly, my research has grappled with the socio-spatial legacies of racial inequality in South Africa and political responses to this. I have approached this through a range of projects, including social movement responses to land reform, the marketization of education systems, and youth responses to chronic unemployment. Methodologically, I am inspired by a rich tradition of critical human geographers who have used ethnography to reveal how everyday life has been transformed by global economic change. In this vein, much of my research has examined how young South Africans have responded to the changes associated with the end of apartheid, particularly the simultaneous growth of education opportunities and unemployment. My post-doctoral project ‘New Technologies of Poverty: Debt, Financialization and Cash Transfer Programs in Southern Africa,’ analyses the influence of financial inclusion technologies and practices in the design and implementation of Southern Africa’s cash transfer programs. This project aims to provide a better understanding of emerging welfare state structures in the Global South, the economic geographies of financialization, and the mutations of neoliberal governance. My research has been published in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Review of African Political Economy, Social Dynamics, the Global Labour Journal and Anthropologica among others.

Expertise Details

South Africa; labour and livelihoods; financial inclusion; cash transfers; economic geography; childhood and youth; urban im/mobilities; higher education in Africa; debt; land reform