Dancing With[out] Simmel

Fatima Bapumia


In this article, I examine how actors stage colour-blind sociability to demonstrate racial integration in the presence of the audiences. I argue that social actors acquire sociability when expected to do so. My assertions are grounded in the ethnographic field work carried out in secondary schools in Dar es Salaam, and a thorough step by step analysis using grounded theory analysis. I have thus found that young people in secondary schools identify themselves on the basis of race groups, namely, African group, “Indian” [South Asian] group, Arab group and ‘half-caste’ [biracial] group]. Also, students exhibit tendencies of exclusion across these groups. However, during the school events such as the parents’ day, the school authorities tactically bring together all race groups for joint performances. It is during such events that one may notice how the youngsters temporarily accommodate their differences through colour-blind sociability.


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