Continuity and change among African women in three generation families in Cape Town

Presenter(s): Elena Moore

Abstract / Description:

South Africa is seeing vast changes in the role of women in their personal and family life. Some of the most dramatic changes include later marriage, less marriage, less childbearing, increased contraceptive use, improved female education rates and increased female employment. The social and normative changes in the personal and family lives of African women, presented in this paper, presents a background into the changing social context of women’s lives over the last four decades. To illustrate these changes, the paper presents the findings of a detailed, in-depth case study of the Nomvungu household, whose female members belong to three different socio-historical periods and are members of a three generational family. The convergences and divergences of these three women’s stories are striking. While patterns of strong female-kin support and absent fatherhood continue, changes in female education and employment are providing greater choices for the younger generation. The main finding highlights the role mothers have played in transmitting a strong ethic of work amongst the younger generation and the importance of education to achieve this. *Refreshments will be served.*

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 -
13:00 to 14:00

CSSR Seminar Room (4.29 Leslie Social Science, Upper Campus)