Patterns of Formal and Informal Intimate Relationships Among West Africans in Britain: The Case of Gambians in London

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

    Abstract

    This MA Thesis is a study conducted in the UK on the processes of formation and choice of spouse and family among populations of sub-Saharan African descent. Documental research, statistical analysis, and ethnographic fieldwork were conducted among Gambian population in 13 districts of Inner London. The aim was: 1) to analyse several crucial factors involved in the formation of the couple among the population studied (the migration Project and trajectory, mobility and personal networks, kinship systems at origin and destination; attitudes and behaviours towards endogamy and exogamy rooted in colonial history, religious affiliation to Islam, etc.) and to test their relevance; 2) quantitatively and qualitatively analyse patterns of endogamy and exogamy (unions within the same/different social group or category) and homogamy and heterogamy (unions between individuals of similar/different socioeconomic status). A number of hypotheses were tested: the principal hypothesis was that there is a prevalence of ethnic endogamy, and that when ethnic exogamy occurs, is within a pattern of social endogamy (homogamy) or hypergamy for the minority group, and of status exchange. Three secondary hypotheses were related to sex/gender (more control for the women in minority group as regards to couple formation, with pressure towards endogamy), religion (as a crucial factor involved in patterns of endogamy and exogamy, limiting the second), and age/generation (second generations are more exogamous that previous generations). All of these hypotheses were validated. A number of hypotheses were tested: the principal hypothesis was that there is a prevalence of ethnic endogamy, and that when ethnic exogamy occurs, is within a pattern of social endogamy or hypergamy for the minority group. Three secondary hypotheses were related to sex/gender (more control for the women in minority group as regards to couple formation, with pressure towards endogamy), religion (as a crucial factor involved in patterns of endogamy and exogamy, limiting the second), and age/generation (second generations are more exogamous that previous generations). All of these hypotheses were validated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 1998

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