Accepted paper:

Doing Fatherhood in the Middle Nile Fatherhood, Masculinity and Change in the Rural Northern Sudan


Maciej Kurcz (University of Silesia in Katowice )

Paper short abstract:

The paper represents an effort to determiante a wide variety of practices, customs and narrations related to fatherhood in the rural Northern Sudan.

Paper long abstract:

The paper represents an effort to understand what it means to be a father in modern rural Northern Sudan. After a brief consideration of a local model of manhood and various forms of fatherhood in the Sudanese societies, its rich cultural context is examined in some detail. It seems that fatherhood is intricately related to a wide variety of practices, customs and narrations, all of which can throw some light on the local model of masculinity and its dynamics. The paper suggests that in case of Muslim communities of Northern Sudan fatherhood is, first of all, a father-son relation which is aimed to prepare a boy to the role of "a very important man". Just so little and so much. Since quite often a young generation is not willing or not able to fulfil the fathers` expectations, it is neither a simple or obvious matter. The issue is also to explore the discourses and the practices of "globalized fatherhood"- for example, how new communication technologies are being used to cultivate father-children relations. Though the paper refers to certain ethnographic experiences in Northern Sudan, it is not a result of systematic research on fatherhood. It can be rather called a "personal ethnology" - it stems from authors` ethnographic observations (field researches in 2010 and 2013) as well as from being a father.

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Social Anthropology
Continuities and disruptions in 'doing fatherhood' in Africa