Liberty and moral ambivalence

Postsocialist transitions, refugee hosting, and bodily comportment in the Republic of Guinea

by Mike McGovern

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Guinean hosts viewed Liberian refugees with the same ambivalence and fascination that many held for their own children, who were embracing the consumerist ethos of Guinea's postsocialist 1990s. Loma-speaking farmers’ categories for evaluating historical change and refugee comportment grew out of metaphors of embodied agency and morality. These categories challenge some aspects of both Guinean elites’ and contemporary anthropologists’ understandings of the meaning of post–Cold War social change.