Tourism and Social Change in Post-socialist Zanzibar: Struggles for Identity, Movement, and Civilization

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Tourism and Social Change in Post-Socialist Zanzibar examines how Zanzibaris are struggling to move through the local landscape in the post-socialist era dominated by tourism. Using the theoretical framework of movement, this book highlights how Zanzibaris move and develop various dispositions to re-articulate their identities. This book also investigates how notions of ustaarabu, a word expressing "civilization" in Zanzibar, are being re-conceptualized and shaped by emerging forces of globalization, secularism, and mass consumption.

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Keshodkar (Zayed Univ., Dubai) delivers a wonderful anthropological volume highlighting Zanzibaris' struggle for identity as the country embraces change in a postsocialist government and economy. Since the 1980s, Zanzibar has focused its economic development efforts on establishing tourism, which has resulted in unsustainable numbers of tourists and migrants flooding in from Tanzania, Kenya, and other mainland African countries. Through case study analyses and numerous narratives among stakeholders, Keshodkar points out that with a diverse population in Zanzibar, the local landscape has been modified and has impacted local constructions of belonging, whereby residents feel a sense of strangeness. Topics include movement, Islamic religion, politics, work and prosperity, consumption, mobility, gender, dress, family relations, and marriage. Needless to say, this text touches on many social aspects of community, and would be most appropriate for advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level collections focusing on the impacts of tourism, tourism planning, community tourism, and the anthropology of tourism. Readers will not be disappointed, especially as they read the eye-opening stories of struggle and courage among the Zanzibari people. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.--CHOICE

Tourism and Social Change in Post-Socialist Zanzibar ...does an excellent job of documenting the ways in which Zanzibari women continue to navigate social spaces and redefine heshima up to the present day. . . . [It gives] a much more nuanced view of the possibilities women had in moving through Zanzibari society, and [it provides] much needed scholarly attention to the changing forms of women's respectability and empowerment throughout the last two centuries.--African Studies Review

About the Author:

Akbar Keshodkar is assistant professor of anthropology at Moravian College, in Bethlehem, PA. His research interests include movement of identities in Muslim communities across the western Indian Ocean.

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