In the 1970s and early 1980s, there was a lack of contemporary, readily available studies of the informal relationships between the sexes; their day to day activities and expectations and how these were altering; especially in contexts in which there were radical demographic, political and economic changes taking place.
Originally published in 1983, this volume documents the complexities and subtleties of the modes of interaction between women and men in one region of Africa. It seeks to provide insights and understanding of changing social contexts and relationships based upon ethnographic field work carried out in the previous decade.
There are five sections. The first is comparative; presenting and analysing statistical data from the countries of the region; including demographic profiles of fertility, migration, mortality, as well as census and survey evidence on work patterns and education. It provides the broad framework within which the individual case studies are located. The theme of the first set of case studies is the traditional separation and interconnectedness apparent in the worlds of women and men in several culture areas in the spheres of arts and crafts, music, political roles, language, symbolism, ritual, domestic organization and resources and sexuality. The second set focuses on the theme of domestic cooperation and conflict, in production and consumption – in particular the conflicting claims and expectations of men and women, as spouses and kin. The third set of essays is concerned with the relative resources and opportunities of females and males in schools and employment contexts, in sexual encounters and in national community and domestic decision-making processes. The subjects of the final section include individualism, autonomy and dependence of the members of one sex upon the other. The increased individualism, resulting from migration and the scattering of kin, and the breakdown of cooperative work patterns between spouses and relatives is seen as leading to instances of both increased dependence on the one hand, especially of women on men, and increased opportunities for economic autonomy on the other. The case studies span a wide range of socio-economic conditions including studies of farmers, traders, fishermen and fishmongers, factory and office workers, the relatively rich and the relatively poor, from many different ethnic groups and six countries.
The book was expected to be of interest to a wide range of readers in social science disciplines as well as to planners and administrators. It should still prove to be particularly relevant to the needs of university students in the fields of women’s studies, African studies, Black studies, sex roles, family relations, sociology and anthropology.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
part I|68 pages
part Part One|66 pages
part II|305 pages
part Part Two|68 pages
Male and Female Spheres
chapter Chapter 7|20 pages
Dependence and Autonomy: the Economic Activities of Secluded Hausa Women in Kano
part Part Three|68 pages
Rights, Exchanges and Bargains
part Part Four|78 pages
Resources and Opportunities
part Part Five|89 pages
Individualism, Autonomy and Dependence