GIFTING AND PHILANTHROPY ENVIRONMENT IN CONTEMPORARY KENYA: ABSTRACT AND STRUCTURAL
Why is giving a ubiquitous human behaviour in Kenya? What shapes Kenyan gifting practices? This paper argues that philanthropic behaviour is a product of multi-directional interactions between individual agency, experiences, and the socio-institutional structures. In Kenya, the socio-institutional structuring results from faith, African philosophical worldviews, the legal environment, and the widespread socioeconomic precariousness. Drawing from existing literature, analysis of legal documents and primary interviews, this paper utilises habitus – durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures and practices – along with Max Weber’s four ideal type rationalities – instrumental, value, affectual and traditional – to explain why the philanthropic landscape in Kenya looks the way it does. It is argued that gifting and philanthropic behaviour is shaped and given form by both individual experiences and the socio-institutional structures within which they emerge.