• The work of class: Cash transfers and community development in Tanzania

      Green, Maia; email: maia.green@manchester.ac.uk (Wiley Periodicals, Inc., 2021-05-29)
      This article uses the concept of convenience as an analytical prompt to investigate how ideas about work organize a cash‐based social assistance program financed through foreign aid. Productive Social Safety Nets (PSSN) is a nationwide program providing small regular payments to very poor households in Tanzania. Cash transfers as components of social assistance not predicated on working confront assumptions many Tanzanians share about the importance of work as foundational to self‐reliance as the bedrock of personal and national development. The program uses existing architectures of community development to creatively combine Tanzanian values around poor people's responsibility for their own development with World Bank conceptualizations of social assistance as a productive investment. Ethnographic research at the interface between program implementors and beneficiaries provides insights into the attitudes many Tanzanians hold about development and their place in it and sheds light on the ambivalent feelings of insecure middle classes about changing forms of state‐managed social assistance. Implementation involves an intricate orchestration of prescriptive ideals about labor, entitlement, and value organized around labor‐intensive bureaucratic procedures, public works, and community sensitization sessions. Labor making and making visible different kinds of work characterize program implementation. Prevailing attitudes toward social assistance, and the class relations through which they are realized, are perpetuated through ostensibly novel programs.