Gitty Petit, Hidden knowledge in Dodoma, Tanzania: Middle class young adults and healers in relation to objects used for health purposes

Gitty Petit has been working as an external PhD student since 2013, next to her job at the African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL) and as of 1 December 2020 at the LACDR, Leiden University. Her project is entitled ‘Hidden knowledge in Dodoma, Tanzania: Middle class young adults and healers in relation to objects used for health purposes.’ The central issue of this study is how the higher educated middle income class in Dodoma deals with the rationality of biomedicine and at the same time has knowledge about certain traditional objects used in health related situations. This dual vision in relation to Tanzania’s middle income class makes for an interesting and hardly described research subject. The focus will be on young adults (25-40 years). As the study will show, education, religion and urbanization play an important role in the perception of biomedical science and traditional healing.
Most of the young adults interviewed were born in other parts of Tanzania and moved to Dodoma in order to study or get a job. One the one hand, there are definitely “modern” conditions present, like the access to biomedical care, education and religions like Christianity and Islam. But on the other hand, there is a kind of secrecy present about the use of objects used for health related purposes and about going to the healer. This seemingly contradiction will be discussed in the thesis.

Keywords: Tanzania, Dodoma, health, traditional healing, material culture, middle income class, urbanization, religion, education.

    

 

Researcher supervising: 
External supervisors: 
Prof.dr. Ria Reis
Project status: 
Ongoing
Countries, location: