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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - The Journal of Modern African Studies
Title Middle class construction: domestic architecture, aesthetics and anxieties in Tanzania
Volume 52
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 227-250
URL http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/56623/1/Mercer_Middle-class-construction-domestic-architecture-aesthetics-a​nd-anxieties-in-Tanzania_2014.pdf
This paper examines the new styles of houses under construction in contemporary
Tanzania and suggests that they can be understood as the material manifestation of
middle class growth. Through an examination of the architecture, interior décor and
compound space in a sample of these new houses in urban Dar es Salaam and rural
Kilimanjaro, the paper identifies four domestic aesthetics: the respectable house, the
locally aspirant house, the globally aspirant house, and the minimalist house, each of
which map on to ideas about ujamaa, liberalization and the consumption of global
consumer goods in distinct ways. The paper argues that these different domestic
aesthetics demonstrate intraclass differences, and in particular the emergence of a new
middle class.

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