Family Relationships in African Middle Class Society

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 12

The middle stratum of African societies are the mainstay of social and political stability. Family-marriage relations in this social strata represent a subject not yet explored in the African studies worldwide. In turn, they are subjected to evolution, like the African states themselves. The length of the period of education, the time to enter the labor market, the age of marriage - all of them are increasing; the number of children in the family decreases. But despite rapid evolutionary changes, the institution of marriage is of great importance, and today it is an integral part of the entire traditional organization.

In various countries of North Africa, there are common and special components of the marriage-family context. For Tunisia and Algeria, there is a very high age of both young men and girls entering into the first marriage union. In Morocco, about a quarter of the population does not have a family at all. Traditional relations prevail in Egypt, and the family remains the most powerful social institution there, etc.

Arab families are very diverse and adaptable to evolutionary changes. One of the main changes is the new role of women and girls in the family who have received education and work and who have become one of the sources of family income in some countries. However, their equality with men is not yet assured.

KeywordsAfrica, middle social strata, family-marriage relations, evolutionary changes, new female roles
Publication date20.12.2018
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