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Accepted Paper:

Family dynamics and funerals in southern Benin  
Joel Noret (Université libre de Bruxelles)

Paper long abstract:

In this paper, I intend to show how funerals are often entwined with serious family issues in southern Benin. In fact, as moments when diverse solidarities are (un)made, when patronage relationships, and "forms of community" as well as social differences are (re)produced, funerals certainly constitute key sites of social change in contemporary Africa. Additionally, as they mobilize important amounts of resources in southern Benin, they often create debates in families and lineages, and expenses consented in these moments may be seriously debated in both nuclear and extended families. For instance, a man burying his father or his mother must typically arbitrate, when engaging expenses, between his social engagements as son, but also as a father and a spouse. Competing social commitments are not always easy to manage, and funerals are moments par excellence when various kin relationships are put to the test.

Panel W028
Family dynamics and practical kinship in Africa
  Session 1