Kinship in Practice: Spatial Distribution of Children's Kin Networks
2014 (English)In: Journal of Southern African Studies, ISSN 0305-7070, E-ISSN 1465-3893, Vol. 40, no 2, 401-418 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The examination of co-residential household arrangements has been a mainstay in demographic analysis, based on the assumption that those with whom one lives are the most important influences in one's life. In contrast, we know far less about the spaces not shared but none the less crucially important in the lives of children. In this analysis, we bring together detailed ethnographic data on kin connectivity with geographical information system (GIS) data in a rural area of South Africa, in order to: 1) describe the spatial distribution of kin from a child's perspective, with special attention paid to the role of circular migrants who constitute a critical point of spatial dispersion; 2) examine how type of kinship (maternal vs paternal) and 3) socio-economic status intersect with spatial distribution. Our analysis uses a three-category typology of kin spatial arrangement that reflects employment constraints, patterns of union formation and norms of kin obligation. Specifically, we find that 1) the high-density rural node with extensive dispersion is associated with economic and union stability and access to maternal and paternal kin; whereas 2) the rural node with limited dispersion faces greater economic vulnerability and often operates in the absence of formal unions; and 3) the rural node with minimal dispersion offers the least amount of economic security and is almost always dominated by single mothers reliant on maternal kin.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 40, no 2, 401-418 p.
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-90460DOI: 10.1080/03057070.2014.906211ISI: 000335211800011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-90460DiVA: diva2:733013