Synopses & Reviews
"This history is . . . the first fully-fleshed story of African Nairobi in all of its complexity which foregrounds African experiences. Given the overwhelming white dominance in the written sources, it is a remarkable achievement."and#8212;Claire Robertson, International Journal of African Historical Studies
"White's book . . . takes a unique approach to a largely unexplored aspect of African History. It enhances our understanding of African social history, political economy, and gender studies. It is a book that deserves to be widely read."and#8212;Elizabeth Schmidt, American Historical Review
This book is about the history of prostitution in a city in British colonial Africa. Nairobi, women saw prostitution as a reliable means of capital accumulation, not as a despicable fate or a temporary strategy. Indeed, whether a woman invested in urban real estate for herself or bought goats for her father did not seem to have been a personal or a cultural decision. The work of prostitutes was family labor.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 267-278) and index.
About the Author
Luise White is professor of history at the University of Florida. She is the author of several books.
Table of Contents
List of Maps
A Note on Currencies
1. Introduction: Prostitution in Comparative Perspective; or, Casual Sex and Casual Labor
2. Livestock, Labor, and Reproduction: Prostitution in Nairobi and the East African Protectorate, ca. 1900-1918
3. Prostitution and Housing in Nairobi, 1919-29
4. Malaya Prostitution, 1930-39
5. Prostitution, Production, and Accumulation: The Origins and Development of the Wazi-Wazi Form in Pumwani, 1936-45
6. Constructing Classes: Gender, Housing, and the State in Kenya
7. Prostitution in Nairobi during World War II, 1939-45
8. Prostitution, Crime, and Politics in Nairobi, 1946-63
9. Women, Wage Labor, and the Limits of Colonial Control