Street Dreams and Hip Hop Barber Shops Critique

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  • Topic: Tanzania, Culture, Barber
  • Pages : 3 (1180 words )
  • Download(s) : 313
  • Published : May 24, 2011
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Brad Weiss’s ethnographic research on popular culture, hanging out in barbershops and bus stands, seamstress tables and video halls, was carried out in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha. In “Street Dreams and Hip Hop Barber Shops” Weiss does a great job observing the everyday life of the people in Arusha. He explores how globalization and neoliberalism affect the mindset of a community and shows the reader how gender role, media, and self-fashioning can play a big role in a person life. Weiss’s fieldwork and observation is very accurate and informative for the most part but looses the reader in some of the topics that he presents.

Brad Weiss does a great job in his chapter on gender and the role that it plays in the community of Arusha. Much of the book has been focused on the expressions of masculinity and the understandings of men that are concerned with gendered personhood, many young men in Arusha comprehend themselves and their relationships with one another in terms of what they imagine women and femininity to be like. But Weiss takes a chapter to turn to women’s practices to show how the cultural process of perception and embodiment allude to the iconography of western culture. Weiss revealed to the reader that women like to keep up with the times in Arusha just like men and they are very conscious about their look and the way they present themselves. Men use magazines and catalogues to keep up with the latest trends but women are one step ahead and use commercials and movies to stay updated. Weiss’s observation was very informative and accurate. This observation proves that globalization can influence people all around the world and have a big effect on a society.

Weiss regularly shows the importance of globalization in his writing. His observation on the youth of Arusha was very precise and shows the reader how globalization and neoliberalism can shape a persons life immensely. Weiss tells the reader that through hip hop posters and magazines...
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