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Department of Social Anthropology



I am interested in emergent forms and politics of distribution in the context of contemporary poverty.

To this end I carried out doctoral fieldwork between 2017-18 in Dakar, Senegal, where efforts to establish a social protection floor provide the broader framework to my research. I focused on two key government programs at the heart of this vision: the bourse familiale cash transfer and Couverture Maladie Universelle (CMU), Senegal’s version of Universal Health Coverage. My dissertation is in part an ethnography of everyday life in a small informal settlement in Dakar, and in part the study of the infrastructure and bureaucracy of these programs.

Before starting my PhD in Anthropology at Cambridge, I received my MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology from University College London (2013). My dissertation centred on ethnographic fieldwork at an African church in East London. My undergraduate degree was in History at King’s College London (2010), during which I focused on modern French history.

Research interests

Poverty; social protection; welfare; Senegal and west Africa; politics; economy; money; informal economy; kinship; dependence; health; states; bureaucracies; precarity.

Research Title: La Sociale: An ethnography of distribution in Dakar, Senegal
Supervisor: Prof Harri Englund
 Anna  Wood (2015)

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