Africa/United States--How do we compare materially?

 

Background Information:

Peter Manzel, the author of Material World, has researched families all across the world to find out about how the average families across the world compare materially. This book provides unique professional pictures of each family in front of their home with all of their material possessions. The photographer does this by taking out all of the family's possessions and strategically placing them in front of their home. The book also shows pictures that teach you about the family's life style.

The below information is a comparison of material possession information on an American family and two African families. The specific information that will be used in the lesson plan includes the families large possessions and most valuable possession.

 

source: Manzel, Peter. Material World: A Global Family Portrait. San Francisco, Sierra Club Books. 1996.

 

Comparison of numbers:

MALI

SOUTH AFRICA

UNITED STATES

SIZE OF HOUSEHOLD

7 (1st household)

6 (2nd household)

7

4

SIZE OF HOME

540 sq. ft. (1st)

450 sq. ft. (2nd)

400 sq. ft.

1,600 sq. ft.

WORK WEEK

112 hours (mothers & father)

40 (father)

40 (mother, including housework)

40 (father)

40 (mother, does not include housework)

LARGE POSSESSIONS

radios (1)

bicycles (1)

radios (1)

telephone (1, broken)

t.v. (1)

radios(3) t.v. (2)

telephones (5) VCR (1)

computer (1) vehicles (3)

MOST VALUED POSSESSION

bicycle (father)

bible (mother & father)

WISHES

irrigation system, motorcycle, enclosed garden

Computer, typewriter (children)

house, car (parents)

tools, new carpet, camping trailer