Oda Eiken Maraire


PhD Candidate


Department of Social Anthropology


This PhD-project, Making a home: An ethnographic study examining the production of ‘home’ and urban futures in Johannesburg, South Africa, seeks to explore home-making and urban enclaving in Johannesburg, South Africa. The project will investigate the dialectic relations between people and the material world as a means to understand how processes of enclaving work to transform urban structures and everyday practices, particularly along gendered lines. In order to examine the sociality dimensions of enclaving the study is specifically concerned with the materialities and aesthetics of 'home-making'.

The research will investigate how people live in the city and the visions people have for their own future and the future of the city. Questions I aim to explore include: 1) How do people look at the built environment of the neighbourhood and the city? 2) How do people create their home today and how do they imagine their home in the future? With this focus, the study aims to map out how people conceptualize, are influenced by, and influence processes of enclaving in possibly different ways, and thus trace their imaginaries of urban future(s) and their homes and neighbourhoods, and how these are interlocked with imaginaries and practices of the past and the present.


Conferences and workshop participation

2022 An ethnographic account on the desire for greenery in the affluent northern suburbs of Johannesburg, South Africa. Paper presented at the conference The City is (NOT) a tree: The Urban Ecology of Divided Cities, 5-7th July.

2022 Rethinking ideas about the home through the lens of real estate in Johannesburg, South Africa. Paper presented in panel The City and The Human, at ASAA Conference, 11-16th April.

2021 Kultivering av verdifull natur in Johannesburg, Sør-Afrika (Cultivating valuable nature in Johannesburg, South Africa). Paper presented in panel Klima og miljøkamp: etnografiske nyansar, NAF Conference. University of Bergen, 25th November.


2022 Imagining the Future City, Video poster SDG-Conference, Bergen, 9-11th November.


August 2019 – August 2020. «Livet i en storby: En feltblogg fra Johannesburg». Fieldwork blog with monthly posts.

2019. Sør-Afrika: Hva kan vi lære av et av verdens mest ulike land? (SA: What can we learn from one of the most unequal countries in the world?). Attac Norge 9th December.


Spring 2022 SANT260: Bachelor Essay. Course Convenor.

Fall 2021 SANT150: Academic writing, methods and theory: Anthropological approaches. Course Convenor.

Spring 2021 SANT215: Comparative Regional Ethnography: China and Southern Africa. Course Convenor with Charlotte Buckermann

Fall 2020 SANT150: Academic writing, methods and theory: Anthropological approaches. Guest lecturer and tutor.

Spring 2019 SANT103: Materiality: Environment, Place and Economy. Guest lecturer.

Vår 2019 SANT260: Bachelor Essay. Supervisor.

Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
Academic lecture
Feature article
Academic article

See a complete overview of publications in Cristin.

Oda Eiken Maraire and Isabelle Hugøy (submitted, publication early 2023) "Samfunnsansvar is not CSR: Mapping Expectations and Practices of (Corporate) Social Responsibility in Norway". In Ståle Knudsen (ed.) Corporate social responsibility and the paradoxes of state capitalism. Ethnographies of Norwegian energy and extraction businesses abroad. Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Müftüoglu, Ingrid Birce, Ståle Knudsen, Ragnhild Freng Dale, Oda Eiken, Dinah Rajak, and Siri Lange. 2018. 'Rethinking access: Key methodological challenges in studying energy companies', Energy research & social science, 45: 250-57.


Part of the interdisiplinary research project: "Enclaving: Patterns of global futures in three African cities" (UrbanEnclavingFutures)