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Pomona College

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Kenya: Islam and Swahili Cultural Identity


Street children of Mombasa, Kenya were ethnographically studied in order to determine the effects of Swahili culture and structural violence on the children’s culture and place within greater society. It was discovered that Mombasa magnetizes street children as a result of the generosity of Swahili culture. Drug use was inextricably linked to street culture, yet children nonetheless held strong dreams of education. Since street children were also discovered to be significantly stratified, future policy and programming must account for these divisions to appropriately address the education and health problems facing Mombasa street children.


Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sociology | Sociology of Culture

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