Journal article

Chewing as a social act: cultural displacement and khat consumption in the East African communities of Melbourne.

M Stevenson, J Fitzgerald, C Banwell

Drug and Alcohol Review | Published : 1996

Abstract

In this paper we present a review of practices surrounding the consumption of khat (Catha edulis) within recent migrant communities in Melbourne from East Africa. Cultures in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsular have used khat as a stimulant since the seventh century and the practice of coming together to chew the leaves of the khat plant has acquired unique cultural importance. Based on focus-group interviews the research examines transformations taking place in the meaning of khat for East African communities within their experiences of displacement and considers how the arrival of khat might be managed in the Australian context. Emphasis is given to indigenous models and the cultural co..

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