Dunstan Matungwa is a cultural and medical anthropologist, and a Research Scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in Mwanza, Tanzania, where he previously served as a Qualitative Research Coordinator for Unite for Body Rights (UFBR)—a five year (2011-2015) youth reproductive health and rights program funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Dutch Sexual and Reproductive Health Alliance. Before moving to NIMR in early summer 2011, Matungwa was—from early spring 2007—a tenured faculty member holding the position of “Tutorial Assistant” in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Dar es Salaam.
Matungwa’s research interests cover a broad array of topics that revolve around the central theme of how people negotiate social, cultural, political and economic relations, structures and processes that mediate their lives to produce precarity, suffering, ill health and more. While paying attention to liberal and non-liberal forms of (collective) agency, he studies how people shape and are shaped by these relations, structures and processes as well as their resulting forms of subjectivities.
His current research project—a doctoral dissertation research—is an ethnography that explores non-client, female-centered social relations and networks among women who sell sex to examine their economic, political, social, and emotional significance. While re-examining the motivations to sell sex, he explores how, why and with whom these women develop social relations and networks; forms of power that arise from these social relations and networks, and how these women draw on social relations, networks and forms of power to negotiate gendered stigma, gendered economic inequality and respectability. Matungwa has also studied the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people and women in Tanzania. He has explored how young people and women negotiate norms, values and local discourses on sexuality and how this negotiation prefigures different forms of subjectivities, logics and imaginings. And with regard to development and health, Matungwa has drawn on intersectionality and the entitlement approach to explore how social, economic and gendered power relations undergird destitution and ill health in communities with plenty of resources.
An advisee of historical anthropologist Dorothy L. Hodgson, Matungwa is currently a Ph.D. Candidate, Fulbright Scholar and an Excellence Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University in the United States. He holds an M.A. in Anthropology from Rutgers University as well as an M.A. and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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