Autonomy or security: the negotiation of family norms in Sudanese families
Africa Spectrum, 2007, vol. 42, issue 2, 167-194
Sudanese families are complex entities with porous borders. They are not only challenged by modernisation and Islamisation processes, but at the same time take the centre stage in the Sudanese discourse on different concepts of ‘modernity’. Within the families, Western and Islamic modernisation concepts are mixed into a hybrid ‘modernity’ and interpreted in a new way; family members refer to the ‘modern’ Islamic family or the ‘traditional’ Sudanese family in order to open up freedom of agency for themselves. This way, their struggle for a ‘modern’ family is embedded in local ‘traditions’, local knowledge and moral-economic institutions, although these have met with criticism ever since the Sudanese society is being modernised.
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