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- Volume 2004, Issue sup-6, 2004
Institute of African Studies Research Review - Supplement 6, January 2004
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Supplement 6, January 2004
Author Takyiwaa ManuhSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2004 (2004)More Less
Extracted from text ... Foreword Earlier versions of the papers included in this supplement were originally presented at a research seminar on Aspects of Care in a Globalizing World organized by the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana and the University of Bergen, in Legon in January 2004. This seminar was part of a series of events and graduate teaching programs, which form the core of the work of a project entitled Globalization and Changing Cultures of Survival and Care: the Case of Ghana. This project, which is a collaborative endeavour of the two universities, is an example of the close and fruitful ..
Author Christine OppongSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2004, pp 1 –15 (2004)More Less
This paper further attempts a task of which the usefulness has recently been advocated by van Staveren (2002): that of simultaneously considering caring and social capital within a gendered perspective. The topic fits broadly into issues treated by social scientists of several disciplinary persuasions and in different time periods and locations; that is linkages between social relationships and affiliation on the one hand and physical and mental health and survival on the other, expressed by some as a positive relationship between social capital and health capital. This is a linkage for which public health researchers and others have provided a growing body of evidence of various kinds. Indeed cultural as well as social capital has been recognized as crucial. And there is evidence from many sources in different countries that impacts of social relations, social support, social integration on individuals' health and well being are positive and measurable. Care is clearly a critical intervening variable. <br>This exercise is carried out mainly with reference to Ghanaian materials but with the wider regional experience also in mind. It is concerned in particular with evidence of what are perceived as escalating diminutions and disruptions in parental care, - processes which have profound implications for infants, children and human development and its sustainability. Indeed they are critical for future national development. It is also concerned with the identification of easy to use and adaptable research tools, which can be used to build simple micro, role models operating within cultural and social systems, using basic ethnographic methods (indicating relative levels of social and material capital - available resources and relationships) and which can facilitate comparative empirical field work, designed to test related hypotheses, regarding disruptions and breakdowns of parental care, and their causes and consequences, in contrasting socio- cultural and economic contexts.
Author Delali M. BadasuSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2004, pp 17 –37 (2004)More Less
The general wellbeing of children has become an issue of increasing concern and discussion at international, local, and other levels during the last two decades or so. Children's health and nutritional status, in particular, have received the attention of both researchers and policy makers, due to indications of survey results and other sources that they have been deteriorating in many countries. Theoretical and other forms of research aimed at understanding the situation identify care as an important factor that either promotes or otherwise affects the health and nutritional status of children. Studies on care have also emphasized that the socioeconomic context within which care is provided, determines the availability of resources for care and the personal capacity of care givers or families to meet their care obligations. The present paper presents a number of cases of crisis of care among Ewe migrants in the city of Accra. It is part of a bigger project that examined care practices and their effects on children's health and nutritional status among the migrants. The cases, though unique in their own respect, together are a reflection of the general situation of care among the migrants. They also bring to light the complex interrelationship among the factors affecting care and point to the need for more comprehensive approaches in research to understand the problems facing households in providing care for children in the contemporary socioeconomic context.
Author Cuthbert BaataarSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2004, pp 39 –58 (2004)More Less
We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we do can wait, the child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer "Tomorrow" His name is "Today". [cited in Morley et. al 1986] Gabrielo Mistral, Noble Prize winning Poet from Chile. <p>Childcare is one of the primary responsibilities involved in having children. What is more fundamental to a society than childcare? Ranked closely behind basic survival, food and shelter, the care and protection of the children needs to come in high on the scale of society's top priorities. The Chilean poet has well captured the fate of many children today in the context of childcare and has also prophetically warned of the necessity to leave no stone unturned and learn to sacrifice our needs for the survival of our children. This work has been a modest attempt to explore why mothers in Nandom are unable to maintain adequate nutritional status of infants and toddlers.
Author Deborah AtobrahSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2004, pp 59 –75 (2004)More Less
Children are not meant to live on their own, they must be dependent on adults particularly their biological parents. The focus of this paper is on the plight of certain children in the Manya Krobo district of Ghana, who have no mothers because of AIDS, and also have no fathers because their fathers are 'unknown'. The reality of AIDS is brutally clear. Millions of people are dying of the disease worldwide, while several millions are being affected by it yearly. Anarfi (1994) and several others have observed various social, cultural and economic implications of HIV/AIDS. Hunter & John (2000) in particular have explained that, apart from the greatest loss of losing human lives to the disease, the surviving families or households are also greatly affected by the disease. Perhaps one of the most tragic results of the AIDS epidemic is the ever-increasing number of orphans it is leaving behind. It is such orphans in one badly affected Ghanaian community who are the subjects of this paper.
Author Edward NanbigneSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2004, pp 77 –83 (2004)More Less
The Dagaaba of Northern Ghana are a patrilineal people who traditionally live in domestic groups comprising a core of agnatically related males and married women and their children. The concept of family (yir) for the Dagaaba includes all who are descended from the same ancestor and all are members of the lineage (yir-dem) (Bekye, 1991). Nukunya (2001) sees the lineage as a network of relations that connects an individual to relatives beyond the small close-knit conjugal family unit. However, as a result of change, more and more people are leaving the influence of this residential system resulting in the waning of their feelings of responsibility to their extended family members. Over the years, education, travel, contact with the cultures of other ethnic groups as well as many other factors of change have began to alter the traditional way of life of the Dagaaba. Not many researches have however been conducted into the extent of the changes that have occurred and their implications for the Dagaaba. What is noticeable however is the gradual erosion of the strong bonds of the lineage and the network of care that is associated with the system. An effect of the changing conditions of the family system is the strengthening of conjugal ties to the detriment of wider kinship ties (Nukunya, 2001:156). Oppong (1981) documented (among Akan dwellers in Accra) the conflict that may exist between kin and relatives who try to renege on their obligations. Many Dagaaba, who have migrated to the cities, the farming areas and the mines, are confronted with the pressures of demands of kin on resources they can ill afford to divert from their nuclear families. At the same time these same Dagaaba would like to maintain the traditional lineage based system, while wishing for change in the areas that most affect their finances (a case of having your cake and eating it?).
Ghost mothers and wet nurses : breast feeding practices and care of children in crisis in Ellembelle NzemaAuthor Douglas Frimpong-NnurohSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2004, pp 85 –92 (2004)More Less
This paper is based on case studies collected in Ellembelle Nzema during an ethnographic study of orphans and their carers. It examines some of the cultural norms, practices and relationships that govern breastfeeding in the society. The attitudes and practices are socially determined and breastfeeding has to be seen as an essential element that intersects with the cultural construction of sexuality. The main focus is what happens when a crisis occurs and the biological mother dies and is no longer available to nurse her infant. The paper points to a long period of complementary breastfeeding in Ellembelle, supported by milk enhancing practices to preserve the integrity of infant nurture and healthy growth. The role of breastfeeding as a birth spacing mechanism is also highlighted in the paper, with illustrations from traditional Ellembelle lore and practices.
Author Kari WaernessSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 2004, pp 95 –101 (2004)More Less
Extracted from text ... Research Review Supplement 16 (2004: 95 - 101) EPILOGUE: THE STUDY OF CARE IN CROSS CULTURAL, INTERDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVE Kari W?rness The picture opposite, a copy of the scene Science and Charity, painted by Pablo Picasso in 1897, illustrates very well some important aspects of the gender division of labour in caring in the industrialized part of the world at the onset of the last century. the medical doctor, a bourgeois man in black dress, represents the scientific approach to illness and death, while the professional carer, the nurse, is an unmarried woman, whose caring work is a calling, an alternative ..