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8 - The Dynamics Of Families, Their Work And Provisioning Strategies In The Changing Economies In The Urban Townships Of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the emerging family forms, dynamics and economic agency in Bulawayo's urban townships. Due to the inhospitable economic and political environment in Zimbabwe and the absence of innovative governmental social care initiatives, families remain an important coping mechanism in dealing with poverty and militating against societal deterioration. This chapter highlights the economic agency of African families in the context of the changing political and economic environment. It recognizes that economic strategies assumed by families are inextricably linked to family forms, the dynamics of family life, and the resources and opportunities available to them. This also draws on narratives of selected families in Bulawayo townships recounting their family forms, dynamics, work and provisioning strategies. The experiences of the families presented in the above cases reflect diverse family forms whose dynamics are complex and mutating over time contingent upon material necessities, care and familial obligations.

Keywords: Bulawayo's urban townships; economic environment; familial obligations; societal deterioration



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