Gender, Class, and Cultural Change under Democratization in Uganda


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


This project explores urban women’s experiences of a “two-stage” democratic transition under the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government from 1986 to 2009. It includes in-depth ethnographic research (covering a first-stage under a “no-party” system, 1986-2006) and comparative data from new fieldwork focusing on the transition to political pluralism (2004-2009). An anthropological approach, with an emphasis on reflexivity and “thick description” grounded in an in-depth historical analysis, reveals the ways in which a multiplicity of ideologies of culture, tradition, religion, and politics converge in day-to-day life under democratisation. The study explores, describes, and analyses the dialectical relationship between gender, class, culture, and political economy which in turn determines local understandings and modes of women’s participation in formal politics and collective activities.