Education, employment, and income : incipient economic stratification in land-scarce Bunyore
Paterson, Douglas B.
MetadataShow full item record
This paper begins with an overview of a field research project which has focused on the problem of land scarcity as it affects the people of one agricultural community in East Bunyore, Kakamega District. Data from a previous paper is briefly reviewed indicating a very strong reliance on non-farm income for households in the sample area. People in the sample community see their economic well-being tied to income not from their land but rather from wage employment or self-employment. The role of kinship and social networks as aids in securing employment is considered. For males in the sample, the pattern of job distribution both spatially and typologically suggests that such networks are very important at the clan and sub-clan levels in providing employment information, training, and physical and moral support in helping to secure jobs. At the same time, the people of the community place an extremely high value on education for they see it as the means of obtaining a good job. Despite this, data on educational achievement show a relatively small percentage of males receiving secondary schooling. The fact that secondary education is a prerequisite for essentially all white collar employment means that employment opportunities in these fields are limited only to a small portion of the sample population. The data point to a trend of widening income disparity among households in the sample community stemming from differential access to education and employment in the higher wage brackets.