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Valentine’s Day in Kumasi, Ghana: sexuality and changes in intergenerational relations

Astrid Bochow

Africa Spectrum, 2007, vol. 42, issue 2, 195-218

Abstract: In the past five years, Valentine’s Day has been celebrated in Ghana by young people in the public sphere. This opened up public discussions giving insights into changes of youth and childhood in postcolonial Ghana: The celebrations are closely connected with the arrival of new goods and communication technologies which have been used by young people since the turn of the millennium. The media and Pentecostal Churches create a sexualised public, with ‘the youth’ as a centre of interest. Schools not only prolong childhood, creating a gap between young people’s sexual maturity and their entry into reproductive life, but also offer a sexualised sphere outside their parents’ control. Despite these complex changes, young people (and their parents) keep to customary forms of premarital relationships, in which modes of intergenerational communication are marked by silence and secrets about sexual friendships.

Date: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:gig:afjour:v:42:y:2007:i:2:p:195-218