Albinism in Tanzanian higher education: a case study

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor of Philosophy
Title Albinism in Tanzanian higher education: a case study
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
URL, Rose Rutagemwa.pdf
My thesis focuses on the experiences of people with albinism in higher education (HE)
in Tanzania. Albinism is a genetically inherited condition and it affects people of all
ethnic backgrounds worldwide. In Tanzania, the condition affects one in every 1,400
people. People with albinism in Tanzania often face social discrimination, superstition,
and prejudice including murder threats due to myths and beliefs that their body parts are
a source of wealth and prosperity. They also experience physical challenges including
threats from the African tropical sun and visual impairment. All these factors interact with
educational opportunities.
Information about the oppression, killings and amputation of body parts of people with
albinism in Tanzania has been widely reported in the media globally. However, albinism
remains socially under-researched and under-theorized – especially in relation to how it
interacts with HE opportunity structures. This research attempts to contribute to existing
literature and construct new insights into albinism and HE. In so doing, I draw upon a range
of theoretical approaches including Sarah Ahmed’s concept of affective economies and
fear of difference, Margaret Archer’s notions of the internal conversation and refexivity
as well as various established feminist theorists such as Simone de Beauvoir to analyse
and explain issues arising from the study including misogyny. I also draw upon Pierre
Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic violence.

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