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Congo, Democratic Republic of the ZAIRIAN SOCIAL CLASSES
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    In the years since independence in 1960, Zaire has become an increasingly stratified and polarized society. One way of understanding how this process has occurred and what the social profile of the country has become is by distinguishing among the various classes that have evolved. Zaire specialist Michael G. Schatzberg's notion of class is a useful tool in conceptualizing these changes. He argues against a rigid conception of class that identifies any single individual as a member of an exclusive category such as the proletariat or the bourgeoisie. He argues instead that class identity is situationally based; an individual may be a member of one class in one interactional situation and a member of another in a different situation. Crawford Young and Thomas Turner, adopting this more fluid concept of class, and building on previous models of Zairian stratification elaborated by Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, Jean Rymenam, and others, have distinguished the following social classes.

    Data as of December 1993

    NOTE: The information regarding Congo, Democratic Republic of the on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Congo, Democratic Republic of the ZAIRIAN SOCIAL CLASSES information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Congo, Democratic Republic of the ZAIRIAN SOCIAL CLASSES should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 16-Nov-04
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