Street Dreams and Hip Hop Barber Shops Critique

1191 words 5 pages
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 …show more content…

His writing sometimes ends up being very difficult to read and enjoy at the same time and I found some chapters extremely tedious. Weiss’s writing style can be very uninteresting and dull in the beginning of the book but he later compensates by providing interesting topics and arguments. One thing I really like about Weiss’s writing is that he interacts with the people of Tanzania and takes time to show the reader their story and what they go through in his writing. In one chapter he tells the story of two barbers named Hussein and Ahmed who cut hair at the “Bad Boyz” barbershop. He provides an ethnographic backdrop to the kinds of activities that go on in the shops and streets. This helps the reader better understand the thought process of the people that Weiss comes across and what they go through on a daily basis. It also gives the reader a different perspective on the effects of neoliberalism and globalization through the eyes of the people in Tanzania. Throughout the book Brad Weiss provides the reader with good background information about the people he observes and tells the reader their story. I find it very useful that he takes time in his writing to make sure the reader understands exactly what is going on instead of just presenting his observations. I was very impressed by how accurate Brad Weiss’s observations were about barbershops and the people