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Wahlström, Nora, 2019. Profit-making businesswomen or (too) proud women and prostitutes? : change and continuity in the social practice of gender at Kiwira market, Tanzania. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



African women’s involvement in the informal economy as market sellers is a topic which has received substantial attention, often with an interest in the possibilty of empowerment which comes from earning money and conducting business outside of the household. However, this topic suffers from an urban bias as well as a focus mainly on West Africa. The aim of this master thesis is to investigate the social practice of gender in and around a rural market in Tanzania- how these gendered practiced affect businesswomen’s opportunities- as well as how the women’s business activities form the basis of new practices and discourses. The analysis is based on a sixweek field study conducted at the Kiwira Market in the rural district of Rungwe in Southwest Tanzania using qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and ethnographic observations. The material obtained has been analyzed by use of analytical concepts such as gender practices, women’s access to capitals, women’s mobility as well as gendered symbolic violence and doxic versus heterodoxic gender relations. The study has found that gendered institutions and practices concerning land ownership, control over cash and the ability to travel within the business all form constraints to women’s businesses. Results also show that women’s activities and earnings at the marketplace has formed the basis of a new discourse which challenges normative ideas about gendered responsibilities within the household. Crucial to this new discourse is the social capital which women form at the marketplace. While the new discourse on gendered responsibilities point to transformation of gender norms, reproduction of gender concerning morals around women’s travels continues to limit the mobility of market women.

Main title:Profit-making businesswomen or (too) proud women and prostitutes?
Subtitle:change and continuity in the social practice of gender at Kiwira market, Tanzania
Authors:Wahlström, Nora
Supervisor:Pettersson, Katarina
Examiner:Bartholdson, Örjan
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2019
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NY007 Agriculture Programme - Rural Development 270 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:market women, rural development, gender, gender practices
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Rural sociology and social security
Rural population
Deposited On:08 Nov 2019 09:40
Metadata Last Modified:04 Jun 2020 12:06

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