Browsing by Author "Quist, Liina-Maija"

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  • Quist, Liina-Maija (2010)
    This thesis is about narrative construction of corruption in Tanzanian public health care. The objective of the study is to discuss Tanzanian patients’ group narratives about corruption, which describe corruption as a predatory transaction between a predator state and citizen victims. The study is based on ethnographic fieldwork among rural Makonde in the Mtwara Region of South-Eastern Tanzania. The major part of the research material consists of narratives collected during group interviews. The study argues that patients make use of a folk narrative genre to discuss corruption. The narratives of the study consist of personal and shared narratives which highlight the participants’ collective tendency to represent corruption as a predatory transaction. Applying Ian Hacking’s idea of “making people” through speech and action, the study argues that beside scientific (e.g. Bayart 2009, Blundo et al. 2006) and Tanzanian public discourse about corruption which “make corruption” as a predatory transaction between a predator state and citizen victims, also the study’s participants make corruption in a similar way. Moreover, using the genre this way to make sense and debate the social world of public health care resembles the use of vampire stories and their victims, told in Central and Eastern Africa during and after colonialism (White 2000). The narratives mediate confusion and concern that relate to questions of money, poverty and relations between citizens and state officials. Through the narratives, the participants also question Tanzanian post-colonial health care policies of cost-sharing and express their concerns about a severe lack of resources. Unlike the writings of Bayart (2009), Bayart et al. (1999), Blundo et al. (2006) and Olivier de Sardan (1999), these narratives do not give reason to suggest that culture or “socio-cultural logics” would be focal for understanding corruption in Africa. Instead, they can be interpreted as ordinary people’s means to explicate and question the post-colonial Tanzanian state and its incapacity to meet the needs of its people.