Aminata Sow Fall's Novel, The Beggars' Strike, is an account of a fictional strike in a West African Society. In this story state bureaucrats, who think beggars discourage tourism from the West, decide to rid the city of begging. The policy is implemented through police tactics of harassment, physical abuse, and imprisonment of beggars. This unbearable situation prompts the beggars to organize a strike in which they refuse to return to the city streets to receive donations. The novel portrays the beggars as an integral part of the society's social structure, and their removal creates profound disruptions in people's everyday lives. Fall's novel constructs a paradigmatic framework to help the reader understand how begging fits into West African society. This view is particularly informative for Western readers who may believe that begging is marginal or dysfunctional.

In this paper I outline the two major macrosociological views of society: conflict theory and structural functionalism. I argue that Aminata Sow Fall presents the institution of begging from a point of view consistent with the structural-functionalist sociological approach.