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Title:'She Thinks She's Like a Man': Marriage and (De)Constructing Gender Identity in Colonial Buha, Western Tanzania, 1943-1960
Author:Lovett, MargotISNI
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:gender relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/486040
Abstract:In the post World War II era, marriage and what constituted 'proper' gender relations within that institution among the Buha of western Tanzania were being altered as young Ha men became increasingly involved in labour migration. The author focuses on marriage as one of the arenas in late colonial Buha within which gender conflicts were revealed most starkly. She is particularly concerned with male strategies to control women and, therefore, both concentrates on the ways in which marriages were concluded and explores the efficacy of bridewealth versus non-bridewealth unions toward that end. She also analyses women's responses to male attempts at control and to changes in the marital relationship itself. Finally, she considers the ways in which both the ideological underpinnings of marriage and the day-to-day lived realities of that institution as experienced by the majority of women served at once to buttress and to challenge female gender identity. She argues that while Ha women's actions might have appeared on the surface as capitulation to the social order and ideology championed by dominant men, they were in fact strategies of control pursued by relatively powerless individuals. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French.