118 Records out of 22207 Records

The art of connection : negotiating the digital divide in Kenya's curio industry.

Author: Mahoney, Dillon

Awarding University: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 2009

Holding Libraries: Dissertation Abstracts International ;

Subject Terms: Anthropology ; Marketing information systems ; Distribution channels ; Business enterprises ;

Abstract:

How does the social and economic context in which new communication technologies are introduced shape the ways small-scale traders understand, gain access to, and use them? How does the digital divide in access to communication technologies reproduce or counter pre-existing inequalities? This dissertation is based on 26 months of participant observation in Kenya since 2001, when I investigated the competition and economic precariousness found among art traders, exporters, and art-producing organizations and cooperatives. In this dissertation I focus on the recent effects of cell phones and the internet. To clarify the contemporary importance of mobile communication technologies for Kenyans working in the shadow of the coastal tourism industry, I discuss the history of social inequality in Mombasa, the consolidation of curio art traders and cooperatives in the port city, and Kenya's political economy of ICT access. Following the removal of the roadside kiosks housing my initial sample of 2001, I investigated the strategies of small-scale art vendors as they struggled to survive economic change. This dissertation captures the story of the rise of the cell phone entrepreneur and the related decline of the cooperative societies around which Kenya's curio industry had long been structured. For economically disadvantaged actors, cell phones and email have become important for negotiating disparities in access not only to technologies, but also to jobs, capital, personal networks, and political representation. I argue that when state policy is not conducive to the formalization, legalization, and development of small-scale traders, ICTs can heighten social insecurity and economic precariousness among these businesspeople. Because the responsibility to manage risk has been abandoned by the Kenyan state and left to individual citizens and informal social and ethnic networks, the story of the digital divide among my research participants became one of ups and downs, repeated connection and disconnection, and intense competition. I demonstrate how the use of ICTs has left its mark on the individual men and women who drive Mombasa's curio industry, as well as the art itself.

The experiences of women who have said 'no' to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) : a multiple case study among the Kikuyu of Kenya.

Author: Muchiri, Margaret

Awarding University: Gonzaga University, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 2009

Holding Libraries: Dissertation Abstracts International ;

Subject Terms: Anthropology ; Women's studies ; Kikuyu (African people) ; Rites and ceremonies ; Female circumcision ;

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to explore the decisions by Kikuyu women in Kenya to not participate in the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) themselves or to not have their daughters participate. The study was based on three major questions. How do individual women make decisions not to participate in female genital mutilation? What has been the implication of this decision on the lives of the women and their daughters? What do these women believe are the implications of changing this practice for their own communities in Africa? This was a qualitative study and was conducted using a multiple case study approach and was based on six cases. The study built upon extensive research on ways to eradicate FGM including views of FGM as an oppressive practice, and the culture of the Kikuyu. The primary research was based on interviews with the six participants. The interviews were transcribed, translated, and coded. The content was categorized into themes based on an analysis of the content of stories by the participants. The significant findings identified from the themes included the complexities surrounding the individual decisions of the why of Female Genital Mutilation. Decisions were based on the information about FGM the women received including information from proponents and opponents of the practice. FGM is rooted in traditional religious beliefs and these beliefs influence views of FGM. The secrecy surrounding FGM promotes it while exposure to urbanization and other changes in cultures reworking against the practice. Women play the major role in perpetuating FGM. FGM is an issue of children's and women's rights. There is no simple or single approach to eradicating FGM. FGM has an important meaning in the people in the Kikuyu community who still favor it and until these deeper meanings can be understood and addressed the practice is likely to continue. This study of the women who have chosen to opt out of the practice contributes to the understanding that change in decisions about FGM requires both change in the external and internal realities of individuals

Ecological and morphological diversity in catarrhine primates from the Miocene of Africa [Kenya].

Author: Grossman, Aryeh

Awarding University: State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 2008

Holding Libraries: Dissertation Abstracts International ;

Subject Terms: Anthropology ; Primates ; Morphology (Animals) ; Ecology ;

Abstract:

This dissertation uses three independent lines of evidence to explore morphological and ecological diversity in extinct catarrhines from the Miocene of Africa and focuses on the sites of Kalodirr and Moruorot west of Lake Turkana, in Kenya. Dental microwear is used to examine the diet, while functional morphology of limb elements is used to examine morphological diversity and locomotion of Miocene catarrhines through comparisons with a sample of living anthropoids. Additionally, this project provides the first analysis of the mammalian fauna from Kalodirr and a comprehensive revision of the mammals from Moruorot. These are used to reconstruct the environment of the primates at Kalodirr and Moruorot using comparisons with modern African localities and other Miocene sites. Results of the microwear analyses show that Miocene catarrhines were primarily frugivorous. However, the primates from sites near Lake Turkana have a broader range of microwear diversity indicating a broader range of diets. The results of the functional morphology indicate that Miocene catarrhines employed a wide range of locomotor behaviors. The Miocene catarrhines are consistently more similar in their morphology to modern catarrhines than they are to platyrrhines, but are also distinct from living catarrhines reflecting their own unique solutions to their environments. The results of the faunal analyses emphasize the endemic nature of different regions during the Miocene. The sites near Lake Turkana include the first appearance of some Eurasian immigrants in East Africa, indicative of a north-to-south migration throughout the Miocene. These analyses indicate that Kalodirr and Moruorot were drier more open woodland habitats than contemporaneous sites near Lake Victoria, and more similar to younger Middle Miocene sites. Thus, during the Early Miocene of Africa catarrhines inhabited at least two distinct habitat types: woodland and forest. These differed in the taxonomic composition of their catarrhine and other primate communities. The woodland localities have fewer catarrhines, yet have a greater range of microwear signatures and at least an equal range of morphological diversity as Miocene primate communities from forest sites. Finally, the results of this study indicate that hominoids underwent a woodland period sometime during the earlier stages in their evolution.

Poverty and sickness among women in Nairobi, Kenya : cultural models of managing HIV/AIDS in the absence of biomedical treatment.

Author: Copeland, Toni J

Awarding University: University of Alabama, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 2008

Holding Libraries: Dissertation Abstracts International ;

Subject Terms: Anthropology ; Poverty ; Nairobi, Kenya ; Women ; HIV infection ; Disease management ; Gender ; Culture ;

Abstract:

The purpose of this project was to investigate the consequence of cultural and social change associated with urban migration on HIV-positive women in Nairobi, Kenya, by examining knowledge of self-managing HIV/AIDS in the absence of biomedical treatment among poverty-stricken women. I predicted that recent migrants would have lower competence in the cultural model than women who have lived there longer, which negatively impacts health. In order to access poor HIV-positive women living in Nairobi, I worked with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide various services for them. One hundred seventy-seven women who have been in the urban center for varied lengths of time and who have been diagnosed as HIV-positive were interviewed. Interviews focused on determining the elements of the cultural domain, how those elements were grouped, and the importance of each in the lives of women. Cultural consensus analysis was used to observe variation in knowledge of the cultural model among the women in the sample. Also, the length of time women have lived in the city was used in a regression model as a predictor of cultural competence. Knowledge of the model was also used as a predictor of health outcomes as measured by perceived stress, depressive symptoms, and recent illnesses. Furthermore, social supporters and family life were investigated among women in the sample. The people or organizations appropriate as supporters for HIV-positive women to turn to for help with specific problems they face in dealing with HIV/AIDS in Nairobi was ascertained. Women reported not being able to turn to extended or even immediate family for help, but rather to organizations. The results of this study contribute to an understanding of how women living in extreme poverty manage HIV/AIDS, how knowledge of these resources is distributed, and what factors influence knowledge, in addition to the health consequences of varying degrees of knowledge. This project aimed to understand HIV/AIDS from a holistic, biocultural, anthropological perspective without ignoring political and economic constraints or sociocultural change

Hormones associated with friendship between adult male and lactating female olive baboons, Papio hamadryas anubis [Kenya].

Author: Shur, Marc David

Awarding University: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 2008

Holding Libraries: Dissertation Abstracts International ;

Subject Terms: Anthropology/Animal behavior/Papio anubis/Baboons/Hormones/ ;

Abstract:

Adult male and lactating female olive baboons ( Papio hamadryas anubis ) form non-sexual attachments described by researchers as 'friendships.' Explanations for the evolutionary function of baboon friendship for males and females have been debated by many primatologists, but have yet to be determined conclusively. I tested hypotheses concerning the adaptive significance of friendship for each sex with analyses of fecal hormones. For males, I examined the association between testosterone and glucocorticoids, and friendship formation and maintenance. For lactating females, I investigated the association between glucocorticoid concentrations and friendship. Fecal samples and data on social behavior and spatial relations were collected from 26 adult male and 22 lactating female baboons in two study groups located in Laikipia, Kenya. Hormone concentrations were assessed by radioimmunoassay. Friendships were determined from composite proximity scores (C-scores) calculated for each male-female dyad in the groups. In male friends, profiles for testosterone, but not glucocorticoids, were consistent with a 'paternal care' hormonal profile found in pair bonded primates and rodents. I argue that testosterone concentrations in male baboons suggest a hormonal mechanism underlying friendship and paternal solicitude similar to that in other mammals. The glucocorticoid profile of male friends led me to an alternative conclusion: periparturition and chronic elevation of glucocorticoids in male baboons during the lactation phase of their female friends functions to decrease testosterone and thereby divert male behavioral strategies from male-male competition and mating effort toward friendship with lactating females (and their infants). In lactating females, glucocorticoid levels were consistent with the hypothesis that male friends buffer lactating females from harassment induced stress. More particularly, my data suggest that lactating females are susceptible to stress from harassment by adult males rather than higher-ranking females, and that male friends may serve a protective function.

Romancing strangers : the intimate politics of beach tourism in Kenya.

Author: Tami, Nicole

Awarding University: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 2008

Holding Libraries: Dissertation Abstracts International ;

Subject Terms: Anthropology/Tourism/Sexual behavior/Beaches/ ;

Abstract:

This dissertation focuses on twenty-first century encounters between European female tourists and male Kenyan tourism workers, and the burgeoning phenomenon known as 'romance tourism.' I argue that romance tourism constitutes a rich modern-day juncture between gender, sexuality, and power, at which individuals from disparate social worlds collide and temporarily transgress racial, class and generational boundaries. Drawing on ethnographic data I gathered in two popular Kenyan coastal tourist spots--on Lamu Island and Malindi town--as well as from post-holiday interviews conducted in Switzerland, my research shows that existing typographies and theories about sex tourism are inadequate for capturing the complex relationships, affective ties, and economic exchanges that characterize Western women's engagements with non-Western men. The tension between institutionalized power--largely rooted in racial hierarchies, and individual power--which is directly contingent upon gender, nationality and socioeconomic status, reveals the contradictions and complex pressures behind interpersonal relationships between Western women and Kenyan men who work in coastal tourism destinations, such as Lamu and Malindi. As such, questions of power and social positionality are both fluid and conditional. I argue that the intimate collisions of these two social groups, not only reflect historical hierarchies between Africa and Europe, but are themselves directly influenced by contemporary geo-political policies and macroeconomic processes. Drawing upon the stories and ethnographic profiles of social actors who are continuously negotiating cultural diversity and a range of personal disparities, including those based on economics, age, race and gender, I explore what happens when Western female tourist enter into cross-cultural relationships with Kenyan beach workers.

Gendered impacts of sedentarization of nomads on the Somali community in Mandera Central division of northeastern Kenya.

Author: Waithanji, Elizabeth Muthoni

Awarding University: Clark University, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 2008

Holding Libraries: ;

Subject Terms: Anthropology/Gender/Somali (African people)/Pastoralists/Social change/Socioeconomic factors/Mandera District/ ;

Abstract:

The research reported in this dissertation identifies what happens to nomads when they lose their animals and what can be done by the community, government, and non-governmental organizations to enable the ex-nomads to attain livelihood self-sufficiency. It has addressed these concerns by answering the following three questions: What does sedentarization mean to the people who sedentarize and the organizations that assist them when they do? How are sedentary communities -- and specifically their gender relations -- affected by the changes in mobility that result from sedentarization? What can be done to ensure that sedentarizing and sedentary ex-nomadic communities attain self-sufficient and sustainable livelihoods? The study was conducted in Mandera Central division in northeastern Kenya. Answering these questions enabled me to identify the policies informing the programs that assisted the ex-nomads. Establishing the policies' strengths and weaknesses and ways to improve them made it possible for me to come up with policy proposals that could lead to improving the well-being of these ex-nomads and the communities into which they assimilate. Data used in this research was obtained by interviewing 123 (62 women and 61 men) community members and 39 employees from 34 (23 government and 11 non-governmental) organizations face-to-face, conducting focus group interviews with six groups constituting the 123 community members, observing community members in public places, obtaining information from key informants and secondary sources. Following are some key findings from this work: First, sedentarization means different things to different categories of stakeholders. Second, women's mobility became culturally more restricted than men's after sedentarization, with the consequence of severe denigration of women. Third, because institutions (home, community, market, and the state) in Mandera are gender insensitive, so are the organizations (government, non-governmental) that they produce, and their development interventions. The policy implications of these findings are then discussed, changes In existing policies proposed, and new policies proposed. Key Words: Sedentarization, Somali, Gender, Mobility, Resources, Development, Mandera, Northeastern Kenya

Comparative study of roles of knowledge repositories in farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange among smallholder dairy goat farmers in Kenya.

Author: Kaberia, B K

Awarding University: University of Reading, England

Level : Ph.D

Year: 2008

Holding Libraries: ;

Subject Terms: Anthropology/Farmers/Agricultural extension work/Dairy industry/Goats/ ;

Abstract:

This study looks at the ongoing exchange of information among dairy goat keeping communities in Kenya. Its aim is to understand the mechanism of communications between farmers and to consider how this mechanism could be used to scale up development initiatives in order to create maximum impact among poor farmers. The field study was carried out in Meru Central and South districts in Kenya between September 2005-August 2006. Based on the research questions, it employed a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods (for purpose of triangulation) using Focus Group Discussions (n=16), structured questionnaire interviews (n=144) and Repertory Grid interviews (n=124) to obtain data on information exchange processes among rural dairy goat farmers. The study provides and tests a conceptual and methodological framework for eliciting and studying features of the ongoing information exchange. Analysis of data revealed that individuals perceived as being knowledgeable in dairy goat practices acted as ?Knowledge Repositories? in their community, and subsequently assumed the roles of sources of information and of catalysts of the knowledge creation process in their own social networks. In addition, as they acquired knowledge and experience through the communication mechanism other farmers graduated to become Knowledge Repositories themselves. This finding demonstrates that the communication mechanism is both replicable and self-sustaining. Findings also demonstrate the important role of women. Not only are they the main beneficiaries of communication, they are also particularly effective as Knowledge Repositories in passing on information, because they share information equally with both men and women whereas male Knowledge Repositories mainly share with other men. The information shared in the exchanges is not restricted to dairy goat keeping. It is general information about farming, so the specific information is placed in the overall context of household livelihoods

Pediatric epilepsy intervention in Kilifi Kenya : understanding ecocultural barriers to treatment, community intervention and family well-being.

Author: Kendall-Taylor, Nathaniel Hudson

Awarding University: University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 2008

Holding Libraries: Dissertation Abstracts International ;

Subject Terms: Anthropology/Disease control/Epilepsy/Kilifi, Kenya/Social conditions and trends/Families and family life/ ;

Abstract:

In the following Dissertation I examine epilepsy treatment seeking, and the effects of the disorder and treatment choice on family well-being in Kilifi, Kenya. The research contributes to the understanding of the obstacles faced by families with disabled children in resource poor environments, develops the anthropological study of well-being, and provides a research model that can be applied to improve treatment of pediatric disability in other developing contexts. I employ a person-centered ethnographic approach to account for treatment choices made by families of children with epilepsy in Kilifi. Observations of individual families and treatment providers suggest that the local cultural system of illness classification and the process of assessing treatment results are fundamental influences on family decisions to seek treatment for childhood epilepsy. Findings also indicate that the dominance of these two factors shifts throughout the illness experience. I present a model to account for family treatment-seeking. Analysis of qualitative data from ethnographic research are also employed to reveal seven themes family members in Kilifi use to construct ideas of family well-being. Comparing data from families with and without children with epilepsy reveals that well-being in families with children with epilepsy is compromised. Findings show that specific areas of family well-being are particularly affected and clarify the pathways and connections between pediatric epilepsy and family well-being. Results are used to provide suggestions for intervention and emphasize the need for future research exploring connections between chronic child illness, treatment-seeking and family-level well-being

Death and burial practices : a study of contextualization of rituals in some Nairobi multi-ethnic, multi-racial churches.

Author: Ngaruiya, David Kimiri

Awarding University: Trinity International University, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 2008

Holding Libraries: ;

Subject Terms: Anthropology ; Death and dying ; Burial USE Funerals ; Rites and ceremonies ; Nairobi, Kenya ; Churches USE Religious organizations ; Funerals ; Religious organizations ;

Abstract:

This dissertation focuses on urban Nairobi Kenyan Christians' experience of the death and burial of their loved ones. The research elicited descriptive detail on current death and burial practices among these Christians, explored cultural conflicts that these Christians experience in their setting; ways in which the church provides social support during this process; and explores possibilities of contextualization, which draw from prior cultural patterns, which appropriately provide crucial supports, and which are appropriately Christian. My goal in writing this dissertation is to provide ethnographic details on customs and practices surrounding the reality of death within the urban multi-ethnic, multi-racial church in Nairobi, Kenya, as a step towards contextualization of the Gospel. In view of the long-term needs of a bereaved congregant, understanding of these customs and practices on death in the urban multi-ethnic, multi-racial context is critical. Chapter 1 is introductory and explores issues pertaining to death in the urban multi-ethnic, multi-racial setting. Chapter 2 is a select literature review on cultural practices, cultural conflicts, church support and contextualization. Chapter 3 presents the qualitative research methodology. Chapter 4 focuses on the current death and burial customs among believers in Nairobi churches. Chapter 5 presents the cultural conflicts experienced by bereaved Christians, while Chapter 6 is an exploration of church support provided to bereaved Christians. Chapter 7 highlights some of the cultural practices that can be contextualized to benefit the wider church in Kenya. The last chapter is a summary of this research and a call to churches to engage in a dialogue towards new frontiers of cultural practices surrounding matters of death.