Social Stratification in the choice and use of Public Bus Transport among Travellers from Eastern Province to Lusaka- Zambia and vice versa

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue III, March 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Social Stratification in the choice and use of Public Bus Transport among Travellers from Eastern Province to Lusaka- Zambia and vice versa

 Jordan Tembo1, Patricia Mambwe2
1Kalindawalo General Hospital, P.O.Box 560008, Petauke, Zambia
2 Department of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, Rusangu University, Monze, Zambia

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Abstract: Social stratification categorizes society into social classes. The choice to use either a luxury Public Bus Transport or an ordinary lower-class Public Bus Transport is purely individual. But social analysis traces the choice to the social class to which an individual belongs. The objective of this study was to explore views and opinions over choice of Public Bus Transport of travellers from Eastern Province to Lusaka-Zambia. The Study was conducted between June 2019 and November, 2020. Data collection was done through observation and a single-interview-per-participant. A total of 26 participants participated in the study. Participants were sourced from luxury Public Buses and ordinary lower-class buses travelling to Lusaka from Eastern Province and vice versa. The study found that travellers who chose and used luxury Public Buses cited efficiency, comfort, safety, reliability, and convenience as qualitative factors behind their choice. Travellers riding ordinary lower-class public buses cited an atmosphere for kinship relationships that prevailed in lower-class buses, cost negotiability, flexibility of drivers to stop anywhere, anytime when a traveller submitted a request and that lower-class public buses provided a sense of freedom and liberty for individual’s self-expression. So long social stratification exists; the upper class will continue to enjoy privileges of comfort, safety, convenience of transportation for sound health and general well-being, self-fulfilment and cost-effectiveness. The lower class on the other hand, unless, they make bold and defying decisions, their choice of Public Bus Transport shall linger around unreliable, congested, second-class Public buses with poor ventilation, uncomfortable seats hence they risk poor health, injuries, costly travel expenses due to unnecessary bus delays and increased stress.

Key words: stratification, travellers, choice, society


Transport is of inestimable value to society. It plays a critical role in various social circles. Transport enables people to interact and share ideas. Transport itself as a whole is value-neutral. It exists purely for the purpose for which it is made (Daňková &Dostál, 2011). Transport shutdown disrupts social interaction with people, and places around which social and economic life revolves (Kulash, 2000). Transport scholars argue that in society, travel behaviours of choosing and using Public Bus Transport (PBT), represents a certain status in the social hierarchy (Dostál & Adamec, 2011).