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Accepted Paper:

How to remain a 'father' in times of privation? Respect and reciprocity in the families of Gécamines workers, D.R. Congo  
Benjamin Rubbers (Université de Liège)

Paper long abstract:

In 2003, 10 000 workers aged over 50 years old were made redundant by the Gécamines, once the biggest mining corporation of Congo-Kinshasa. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a cité ouvrière, this papers aims at understanding how these senior workers face this situation in their roles as husband, father, and relative. As they experience difficulty in meeting their family's needs, how do they re-negotiate their relationship with their wife, children, and kin? To answer this question, this paper will focus on expectations of respect and reciprocity underlying these bonds. More generally, it will make the argument that the colonial model of the nuclear family, promoted by the company and the church, remains influential in the structuring of the family.

Panel W028
Family dynamics and practical kinship in Africa
  Session 1