chapter  4
20 Pages

Household Composition and Dynamics in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa: Mirroring Social Reality in Longitudinal Data Collection

WithVictoria Hosegood, Ian M. Timaeus

Households are important units of analysis for the study of demographic, social, health, and economic processes. People typically live in domestic groups (households) whose members share characteristics including the resources they can access and the authority hierarchy that they acknowledge. Consequently, information about households is a ubiquitous part of data collection exercises ranging from medical case notes to national censuses. However, although household data are widely available, the definition of a household has challenged anthropologists, sociologists, demographers, and economists for decades (Bender 1967; Keilman 1995; Saradamoni and Dube 1992).