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Next CGIAR Kampala seminar – Brooke Bocast on “Housing” and Female Friendship in Uganda

2014 March 11
by bvancampenhout

copyright DFAT

copyright DFAT

We are pleased to invite you to the next CGIAR-Uganda Research-seminar at IITA/IFPRI, Naguru East Road plot 15, Kampala on Wednesday 12th of March, from 14.00 to 15.00 PM

‘Housing’ and Female Friendship in Urban Uganda


Brooke Bocast, Senior Doctoral Fellow, Center for the Humanities, Temple University
This paper examines the relationship between “sugar daddyism” and emerging forms of female sociality among young, educated women in urban Uganda. In particular, I demonstrate how the practice of ‘housing’ – wherein one man sponsors an outing for multiple women – fosters new spaces for female friendship. Scholars of African social relations have long noted the centrality of material exchange in establishing and maintaining ties of kinship and political patronage; more recently, the interplay between capital and sentiment in sexual relationships has garnered significant attention. Yet friendship, in Africa and elsewhere, remains remarkably undertheorized. Profound generational shifts in sociality, shaped by rural-urban migration, the expansion of higher education, and the influx of Western media, make Uganda a fertile site for the study of new forms of non-kin affiliation. In this paper, I analyze the relations of exchange that simultaneously constitute sugar daddy and female peer relationships. I make three major points: First, although sugar daddyism functions according to logics of asymmetrical exchange, such relationships animate horizontal reciprocity within female peer groups. Second, educated young women discursively construct friendship as a space for “fun,” in opposition to romantic and kin relationships. Third, despite this discursive separation, the co-constitution of friendship and sexual transactions generates conflict between female friends. This paper explores new urban exchange relations as a window onto larger processes of continuity and change in Ugandan social organization.
Please note that the *next* CGIAR-Uganda Research- seminar will be on Wednesday April 2nd, 2014, 14.00 PM.

If you are interested to present at a CGIAR-Uganda Research-seminar, please let us know!

CGIAR-Kampala research seminars take place every first wednesday of the month between 2 and 3 pm. They are born out of the desire of a group of researchers to discuss their research in depth to peers, as opposed to presenting summaries and policy recommendations in our daily outreach to policy makers. As such, potential presenters should not shy away from more technical issues that they want comments and feedback on.

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