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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Swahili Stratification and Tourism in Malindi Old Town, Kenya
Author:Peake, R.
Year:1989
Periodical:Africa
Volume:59
Issue:2
Pages:209-220
Geographic term:Kenya
Discipline:Anthropology & Ethnology
Subjects:Swahili - society
Social Stratification
Tourism
Malindi - society
Abstract:The concept of 'leisure class' is used to discuss the major impact that tourism is now having on many parts of the East African Swahili coast. The article focuses on three groups within the local Swahili community of Malindi Old Town, identified as 'beachboys' (youths living from the 'unofficial' services they provide for tourists), 'clerks' (youths of good education having salaried clerical jobs in the tourist industry) and, as a contrast, 'elders'. Tourism creates a visiting high-status leisure class of transient membership. What provides a short period of fantasy for the tourists becomes part of a daily reality for the hosts. The beachboys have most readily embraced the new model of reality. In sharp contrast are the Swahili elders, to whom tourism and the Western concept of leisure it represents are the opposite of everything that is proper and wholesome in Swahili society. The clerks are at the intersection of the competing perspectives of beachboys and elders. Islam, with its moral and spiritual superiority, becomes the focus of their future hopes. (Source: ASC Documentation).
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