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Look Inside Marriage Among a Matrilineal Elite

Marriage Among a Matrilineal Elite
A Family Study of Ghanaian Senior Civil Servants

Part of Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • Date Published: January 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521093187


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About the Authors
  • A study of conjugal and kin relationships in a group of urban, educated West Africans, Akan Senior Civil Servants in Accra. As well as representing a contribution to the growing body of data on marriage and family life in West Africa, the book is an exercise in methodology in which the aim has been to evolve ways of documenting and comparing two major aspects of conjugal family relationships: the division of labour, resources and power between spouses, and the extent to which the conjugal family is a functionally discrete unit in a number of domestic activity areas. This documentation and analysis leads to the examination of marital continuity and change among urban migrants from a region characterised by matrilineal descent and inheritance.

    Reviews & endorsements

    'A ground-breaking study of the domestic life of the African middle-class, this book emphasises the changes and the continuities with the shift to monetary incomes, especially in a matrilineal society.' Sir Jack Goody, St John's College, Cambridge

    'Christine Oppong's book on Marriage Among a Matrilineal Elite gives cause for celebration. It's insights are as pertinent to understanding the structure of marriage among the Ghanaian elite now as they were when the book was first published some thirty years ago. It is a study for all seasons.' Ato Quayson, University of Toronto

    '… a useful case study for teaching anthropology and sociology students about gender roles and families in Ghana, in ways that permit comparison with other cultures and time periods.' Rev. Michael P. K. Okyerefo, University of Ghana

    'A classic of African family sociology now back in print, waited for. A crucial link between anthropology and current sociology of the field.' Goran Therborn, University of Cambridge and author of Between Sex and Power: Family in the World, l900–2000

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521093187
    • length: 224 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The problem
    2. Custom and innovation
    3. Government servants and kinsmen
    4. The allocation of resources
    5. Power and decision-making
    6. Tension and change.

  • Author

    Christine Oppong, Wolfson College, Cambridge

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