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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Negotiating Asante Family Survival in Kimasi, Ghana
Author:Clark, Gracia
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Ghana
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
Sex Roles
Abstract:Remarkable flexibility in the residential and financial arrangements attached to marriage and matrilineal kinship has remained a consistent characteristic of the Asante family system throughout this century. This elasticity has kept the Asante family system viable while dramatic fluctuations in the economic and political environment of Ghana were leading the predominant results of individualized negotiations to shift across the decades. The continuing vitality of Asante matriliny requires a high degree of individual autonomy, including the economic autonomy that anchors the negotiating position of each social adult. Life history research among Kumasi women traders in 1994-1995 shows that the elastic framework of family relations can absorb considerable change in the expectations and the balance of power between spouses or between parents and children as long as the pace remains slow enough and individual self-reliance stable enough to preserve the continuity of the renegotiation process. However, the economic crisis of the final decade of the century has threatened the basis of Asante social reproduction by reducing the opportunities for financial independence. Without basic autonomous subsistence young men and women can no longer function effectively as Asante adults. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.