chapter  9
On the good life and rising electricity consumption in rural Zanzibar
WithTanja Winther
Pages 19

This chapter has sought to account for the driving forces behind the increasing use of electricity in rural Zanzibar and discusses the uses - and non-uses - of electricity in the light of people's perceptions of the good life. Two areas of consumption, television and food, examined in particular. The chapter examines Zanzibari perceptions of good life in relation to the selected realms of consumption as well as people's general conditions for living. The adaptation of electricity and adhering appliances may be considered as 'domestication processes' through which commodities and new patterns of consumption are introduced, negotiated, institutionalised and transformed. The survey covered questions on consumption, electricity, cooking and food, and asks specifically what people need to life a good life. Overall, the results show that too many of Zanzibari respondents, who were striving to make a living, their needs for living a good life were first of all associated with having income, generating activities and possessing a nice house.