Hospitality and Friendship
The ethnographic material presented in this chapter addresses the significance of trust to the traders’ activities through a consideration of the importance of practices of hospitality to the fashioning of their social relations both with one another and people in the communities in which they live and work. It is especially concerned with the role that male–male friendships occupy in the traders’ moral and social worlds, as well as in the significance of such relations to the traders’ capacity to operate as commercial actors far away from home. It is critical to address such friendships and the values and practices that underpin these because they complement the “diplomatic” aspect of these traders’ lives: friendship is a kind of relationship that, at a most fundamental level, depends less on seemingly strategic forms of impression-management.
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