Signs of stratification? : A comparative study of equality in four East African Community partner states

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Title: Signs of stratification? : A comparative study of equality in four East African Community partner states
Author: Rajala, Otso
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Research (2010-2017)
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Sosiologia
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to inquire into possible associations between social status markers and equality in four East African Community (EAC) partner states: the Republic of Burundi, the Republic of Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Uganda. The theme of social equality was studied in four realms: access to public services, access to basic services, government performance and government listening. Within them, three individual-level predictors were observed: educational attainment, location and gender. The study compared results from the four realms in each of the four EAC partner states. To achieve a comprehensive comparison, the study was presented within Hobbes’ and Rawls’ framework of equality as well as Bourdieu’s theory on the dimensions of social class to which the individual-level predictors were based upon. The study utilised the World Bank’s World Development Indicator database to describe the background and to support the theoretical framework. Using Afrobarometer round 6 survey dataset, the study combined separate items into sum variables through which the four realms of equality were observed. The study analysed variance in the explained variables by regressing them on the predictor variables in multiple linear regression models. Comparisons at country level were possible since results from analyses were retrieved separately for Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Detailed explanations were pursued where significant deviations from trend or otherwise significant results were observed. Analysis of the results revealed trends in stratification across the four countries. Higher educational attainment tended to predict better access to public and basic services while lower educational attainment and rural location predicted better assessment of government performance and access to decision-makers. Women were more likely than men to experience their access to services better. Women were also more likely than men to assess government performance better. Burundian and Kenyan regression models yielded significant results in several cases. The trends found in the analysis showed signs of persistent urban bias in terms of service planning, increase in satisfaction by education in all realms and disparities in gender roles. Moreover, compared to urban, rural dwelling place tended to predict a higher degree of access to public services and access to decision-makers. Since disparities between groups changed and their degrees fluctuated between regression models, approaching equality from different angles was found to be necessary.
Subject: Equality
comparative study
East African Community

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