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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Family, Marriage and Divorce in a Hausa Community: A Sociological Model
Author:Solivetti, Luigi M.
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Cultural Roles
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
Family Life
Abstract:The aim of this article is to show how a 'traditional' society may produce a household system in which the structural tensions are no less intense than in the Western world. Focusing on Muslim Hausa society (in northern Nigeria) it first describes the Hausa pattern of organization with its emphasis on the domestic unit of production. Next, the author examines aspects of Hausa family organization: early and obligatory marriage, family control over marriage, polygamy, divorce. He shows that Hausaland has one of the highest rates of divorce (and remarriage) in the world. An explanation is sought here in terms of the economic and organizational requirements of a subsistence farming system that is always potentially short of labour. Divorce is a solution to otherwise unacceptable pressures, particularly on young women, in a society that requires them to be subordinate and marginal within the extended family. The data presented here were collected between 1979 and 1989 in the Niger valley of Sokoto State in northern Nigeria. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.