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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The African Family in Development Crisis in the Second Millennium
Author:Ocholla-Ayayo, A.B.C.
Year:2000
Periodical:African Anthropologist (ISSN 1024-0969)
Volume:7
Issue:1
Period:April
Pages:84-113
Language:English
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Kenya
Africa
Subjects:kinship
urbanization
poverty
family
Development and Technology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Link:https://www.ajol.info/index.php/aa/article/view/23093/29907
Abstract:In Africa, the family is experiencing stresses and strains, shortages and difficulties with all the practical problems of social change. Reflecting upon the function of culture in the 'golden age' of traditional society, this article argues that today, African families are living in cultural poverty, a condition of rudimentary cultural elements that are not effective in exploiting the natural resources which are necessary to feed Africa's families and growing population. The African family is suffering also because of political, agricultural and urban poverty, rooted in high population growth, dependency and modernization. Some cultural beliefs and practices are contrary to health and development. There is also the widespread breakdown of family and marriage. Detribalization goes together with the survival of tribal identities. Modernization in the urban centres has contributed to the family crisis. In many African countries, urbanization is reducing kinship to the conjugal family. However, studies conducted in Kenya indicate the enduring importance of kinship ties, obligations and family dependency. In the new rural-urban patterns, even in urban areas kinship relationships and the extended family are still important. Adherence to the demands of extended kinship therefore seems to be a way of developing one's larger family and the community in general. In this context, kinship support systems seem to be a two-edged sword. Bibliogr.
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