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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Documenting Changing Family Patterns in South Africa: Are Census Data of any Value
Author:Ziehl, Susan C.
Periodical:African Sociological Review (ISSN 1027-4332)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:South Africa
Southern Africa
Subjects:social research
Miscellaneous (i.e. Demography, Refugees, Sports)
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Family size
Abstract:A number of scholars have shown an interest in the question of whether modernization, urbanization and/or industrialization have resulted in a homogenization of family patterns in South Africa. This has generally taken the form of asking whether among black South Africans, in particular, extended family households have become less common and nuclear families more common over the time. Although few of these writers actually mention the name of William Goode (1982), their work can be seen as an attempt to test (or at least respond to) his thesis that industrialization results in the simplification of household structures and a movement towards the nuclear family pattern. This paper argues that the empirical bases of these studies are inadequate, either because they do not involve longitudinal data and/or are not generalizable to South African society as a whole. Against this background the question is posed as to whether a comparison of 1991 and 1996 census data provides more accurate information - at least for recent times. The paper points out that there are still significant problems around the use of census data for the identification of family patterns in South Africa - in particular around the question of change. App., bibliogr., notes.