Normalizing necessity? Support networks and racial inequality in Namibia

Community or interpersonal support is a critical source to sustain livelihoods in the Global South. At the same time, these practices can exhibit unequal dynamics such as disincentives, hierarchies, or adverse inclusion of individuals. However, an understanding of such is primarily tied to the conceptual space of poverty or small communities. Less is known about how social support systems might respond to structural inequalities within a society. This paper explores how support practices might be shaped by or respond to structurally inherited inequalities in the Namibian context. More precisely, I estimate the probability of supporting others that are notably worse off by comparing support practices of black and white Namibians across various age groups, gender, and socioeconomic standing.