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Khat-chewing, moral spacing and belonging: Sociological insights into the cultural space of the mafrish in the leisure lives of older and middle-aged British-Somali males

Swain, Spencer ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2191-0041, Lashua, Brett and Spracklen, Karl (2021) Khat-chewing, moral spacing and belonging: Sociological insights into the cultural space of the mafrish in the leisure lives of older and middle-aged British-Somali males. International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure.

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Khat-Chewing and Moral Space - Final.pdf - Accepted Version
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Khat-Chewing and Moral Space - Final.docx - Accepted Version
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Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between khat-chewing and feelings of collective sociality amongst older and middle-aged men living in Britain's Somali diaspora. The research's core investigates the feeling of moral connectivity, a sense of belonging with others based around a shared reading of Somali-British identity. Here, the paper explores how the leisure practice of khat-chewing in the space of the mafrish symbolises this sense of belonging through promoting conventional understandings of Somaliness, connected to traditional readings of masculinity and identity. While such leisure is understood to offer a site of collective belonging for the older and middle-aged men who chew khat, it is also explored how khat-chewing creates conflicts, particularly amongst those who question the 'imagined community' constructed in such spaces. The analyses highlight how this leisure practice fractures families and the broader community, instigating a feeling of cultural dissonance amongst women and some youth, problematising the cultural foundations of identity and community constructed in khat-chewing sessions.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41978-020-00079-8
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/4876

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