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VIDEO DOI: https://doi.org/10.48448/z58m-vb96

technical paper

AAA Annual Meeting 2021

November 18, 2021

Baltimore, United States

Diverging Kin-Scripts within the Extended Kin-Group: Conflicts over Children's Belonging in Benin



immigration and diasporas

kinship and families

Assuming that kinship obligations and expectations are in constant processes of change, the question arises what happens if these changes do not affect relatives at the same pace. This is the case in the Republic of Benin, West Africa, where processes of urbanization are leading to a growing heterogeneity of life styles, normativities and economic capacities within kin groups. As a result, people who see one another other as closely related through kinship are developing different normativities concerning children´s belonging as well as educational visions.

My paper analyzes these diverging normativities through the lens of child fostering and institutionalized, morally laden modes of exchange between kin. I argue that conflicts around children are in fact negotiating kinship obligations and possibilities of retreating from them by relating to other normativities such as children´s rights or schooling obligations. At the same time, these conflicts are creating new normativities that relate urban and rural households to one another, under the conditions of rising inequality of wealth and life chances.


Transcript English (automatic)

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