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A Chain of Family and Domestic Violence: Extramarital Pregnancy and Social Rupture in Burkina Faso

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyses instances of ordinary or everyday violence whether social, structural or physical that affects social bonds both within the family or kin group and within couples, and that thereby impact on the process of gendered identity formation. The emergence of violence appears to be shaped by various forms of dependency, particularly material dependency. A threat of violence takes the form of verbal harassment against married women whose fertility has not been proven. The unequal relationship between elders and juniors that characterises the dynamics of kinship networks is maintained by the norms of social constraints and obligations. Situations of pregnancy are often combined with situations of violence. The internalisation of norms and the consubstantial justification of lapses in behaviour justify the maintenance of family ties and possible return to one's village even in a situation of social failure.

Keywords: common violence; domestic violence; fertility; structural violence; vulnerability



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