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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Using clanship, making kinship: the dynamics of reciprocity in Khayelitsha, Cape Town
Author:Spiegel, Andrew D.ISNI
Year:1997
Periodical:African Anthropology (ISSN 1024-0969)
Volume:4
Issue:2
Period:September
Pages:37-76
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:South Africa
Southern Africa
Subjects:social networks
informal settlements
kinship
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Urbanization and Migration
Anthropology, Folklore, Culture
Khayelitsha (South Africa)
Abstract:The boundaries of family and kinship are never fixed. Yet the biological idiom on which they are constructed suggests they are. The present author demonstrates the fluidity of kinship and its significance as a cultural resource for giving meaning to and reinforcing contingent social relationships among shantytown residents in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa, during the early 1990s. Using material from a small nonrepresentative sample he illustrates, through case studies, the ways in which people face the exigencies of urbanization by creating social networks which they reinforce by manipulating culturally understood notions of kinship and clanship. He traces how people's urban migration experience and their subsequent attempts at domestic consolidation lead to their making kin. He also highlights the relationship between the contingent nature of reciprocity-based social relationships and networks, on the one hand, and the moral imperatives that derive from claims of kin linkages, on the other. Bibliogr., notes, sum.
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