'If Books Fail, Try Beauty': Gender, Consumption, and Higher Education in Uganda
Brooke Bocast

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



Temple University

Primary Discipline

My dissertation examines the sexual economy ? wherein university women trade sexual favors for money and commodities - at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Preliminary research reveals that transactional sex features prominently in many students? strategies for academic, financial, and personal success. Guided by the question, Why do highly educated university women engage in transactions that put them at risk of public admonishment and dangerous sexually transmitted diseases?, my dissertation investigates how young African women negotiate the tensions inherent in a matrix of increased educational opportunities, limited financial resources, heightened health risks, competing affective ties, and desire for material commodities. Based on twenty-four months of ethnographic research, I argues that Uganda?s tertiary education reforms - in direct opposition to their stated aims - contribute to circumstances that undermine female university students? opportunities for success.
About Brooke Bocast

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