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When the Light Is Fire – Maasai Schoolgirls in Contemporary Kenya - Illinois Scholarship Online
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When the Light Is Fire: Maasai Schoolgirls in Contemporary Kenya

Heather D Switzer


A host of international organizations promotes the belief that education will empower Kenya’s Maasai girls. Yet the ideas that animate their campaigns often arise from presumptions that reduce the girls themselves to helpless victims of gender-related forms of oppression. Heather D. Switzer’s interviews with over one hundred Kenyan Maasai schoolgirls challenge the widespread view of education as a silver bullet solution to global poverty. In their own voices, the girls offer incisive insights into their commitments, aspirations, and desires. Switzer weaves this ethnographic material into an as ... More

Keywords: Maasai, Maasai history, Education, colonial Kenya, postcolonial Kenya, ethnic otherness, girls’ education, girl effect, performativity, Kenyan gender policy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780252042034
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042034.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Heather D Switzer, author
Arizona State University