Terms and Conformity
It is not that the descriptive terms ensure conformity to everyone's expectations but rather that they make these expectations known and do so in a way that emphasizes the value of meeting them. Occasionally, terms are used in openly expressed denunciations such as "Huna fadhla" (You have no gratitude) where they serve as coercive instruments, but most consistently they display the valued expectations attached to particular statuses and indicate the virtue of meeting them. The terms exert pressure for conformity according to the wishes of those who are aware of them to avoid condemnation or win approval, but this may be distant and contingent on the characters and, especially, relationships between the terms' subjects and their users.
As we will see in chapter 8, the effectiveness of the evaluations of behavior depend on the statuses both of the evaluator and of the evaluated. The young men who are characterized as muhuni often reject evaluations from members of the older generation. Even so, the youths are reminded of what the expectations are which form the basis of these evaluations and they concede some
force to them by insisting that in their own view, and that of their peers, they meet them.