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Trans Global Families: The Application of African Ethical and Conceptual Systems to African-Western Relationships and Families

Annie Stopford


This article argues that African ethical and conceptual systems have an important contribution to make to theorization of complex African-western families which are forming in some locations around the globe as the result of migration and cross cultural marriages/relationships. Drawing on my research into transculturation in heterosexual African and (non African) Australian relationships, I argue that despite formidable obstacles both in terms of the hegemony of the monogamous nuclear family model, and patriarchal attitudes toward female sexuality, Africanization of relationship and family structures can occur in western locations in ways which are not antithetical to womens rights, responsibilities and desires. The nuclearization of the family may be taking root in Africa, but this is not a one way migration. As Niara Sudarkasa says, when nuclear and extended family structures which evolved in Europe and Africa (respectively) are transported to other cultural contexts, transformations in . . . familial roles and relationships have occurred and will occur (2004: 2).

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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