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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Investigating Difference: Application of Wealth Ranking and Household Survey Approaches among Farming Households in Southern Zimbabwe
Author:Scoones, Ian
Periodical:Development and Change
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:standard of living
rural households
Economics and Trade
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7660.1995.tb00543.x
Abstract:Wealth ranking and household survey approaches to understanding wealth stratification are applied in tandem for a sample of farming households in Mazvihwa communal area in southern Zimbabwe, where research was carried out between 1986 and 1988. While conventional surveys usually stratify sample populations according to criteria chosen by the researcher, wealth ranking is based on criteria offered by local people. Patterns of wealth and well-being over time, between ecological zones and in relation to local indicators are explored with focus groups of men and women. The rankings emerging from these discussions are compared with survey data for the same household sample. The wealth rankings are highly correlated with livestock ownership, farm asset holdings, crop harvests and crop sales. Wealth ranks derived from farmers' analyses are then compared with a cluster analysis of the survey data. It is concluded that wealth ranking provides an accurate indicator of relative wealth and that ranking can be a useful complementary method to be employed alongside survey assessments. In addition, qualitative discussions during ranking exercises reveal details of the historically, socially and economically constructed understandings of wealth and well-being of different actors. The conventional assumption that surveys always provide 'better' data is thus questioned. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.