Area Handbook for Ivory Coast

By T. D. Roberts; Donald M. Bouton et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
FAMILY

Of all the institutions of the traditional society, the family is in many ways the most resistant to change. Under the impact of a modern money and market economy and a centralized national government, many of the functions once associated with the family and clan have been given over more and more to specialized political, economic, educational and religious institutions. At the same time, however, those functions which tend to be the particular concern of the family are still strongly associated with the family. Allowing for some variation between ethnic groups and geographic regions, it appears that the family systems of the Ivory Coast are not radically different from what they were 100 years ago. The major celebrations of the life cycle still reunite most of the family, despite its increased geographical dispersion. The ways in which children are treated and brought up still reflect the same cultural values, although now a Western school may intervene more often and a traditional initiation society less often. Inheritance rules have undergone some changes to bring them in line with the exigencies of a cash-crop economy. Bride prices may be higher and betrothal later, but basic marriage and divorce patterns remain the same.

The family is changing in adjustment to modern life, but it remains the core allegiance of the African, a relatively stable element in a more rapidly changing environment.


THE STRUCTURE OF KIN GROUPS

The Lineage

Although an Ivory Coaster recognized kin relationships through males and females, relationships through one sex tend to differ importantly from relationships through the other. Kin through males and kin through females are often referred to by different terms, and behavior in relation to them differs.

In addition, relationship exclusively through males or females provides a basis for the formation of lineages. A lineage is a distinct group whose members--males and females--trace descent from a common ancestor and relationship to each other exclusively through either males (a patrilineage) or through females (a matrilineage). In the first instance, children belong to the lineage of their father; in the second,

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Area Handbook for Ivory Coast
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Preface to the Second Edition ix
  • Country Summary xi
  • Summary of Events: January 1963--December 1972 xv
  • Bibliography lvii
  • Preface to the First Edition lxv
  • Section I. Sociological Background 1
  • Chapter 1 General Character of the Society 1
  • Chapter 2 Historical Setting 7
  • Chapter 3 Geography and Population 29
  • Chapter 4 Ethnic Groups and Languages 55
  • Chapter 5 Family 79
  • Chapter 6 Social Structure 95
  • Chapter 7 Education and Intellectual Expression 111
  • Chapter 8 Religion 131
  • Chapter 9 Artistic Expression 145
  • Chapter 10 Health and Welfare 155
  • Chapter 11 Social Values and Patterns of Living 169
  • Bibliography 179
  • Section II. Political Background 189
  • Chapter 12 Constitution and Government 189
  • Chapter 13 Political Dynamics 213
  • Chapter 14 Foreign Policy 231
  • Chapter 15 Information and Propaganda 251
  • Chapter 16 Attitudes and Reactions of the People 265
  • Bibliography 273
  • Section III. Economic Background 283
  • Chapter 17 Character and Structure of the Economy 283
  • Chapter 18 Agriculture 289
  • Chapter 19 Industry 309
  • Chapter 20 Labor 331
  • Chapter 21 Domestic and Foreign Trade 349
  • Chapter 22 Financial System 367
  • Bibliography 387
  • Section IV. National Security 395
  • Chapter 23 Public Order and Internal Security 395
  • Chapter 24 the Armed Forces 411
  • Bibliography 427
  • Glossary 431
  • Index 437
  • Published Area Handbooks 449
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