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Gender dynamics of the small house phenomenon in the Harare Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe

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dc.contributor.advisor Rabe, Maria Elizabeth Muchabaiwa, Wonder 2019-06-26T12:47:39Z 2019-06-26T12:47:39Z 2018
dc.identifier.citation Muchabaiwa, Wonder (2018) Gender dynamics of the small house phenomenon in the Harare Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <>
dc.description Text in English en
dc.description.abstract The small house phenomenon amongst the Shona people in contemporary Zimbabwe forms part of the relationship and household arrangements amongst certain heterosexual couples. In cases where partners engage in small house relationships, it has specific implications for existing marriage and family dynamics. The study sought to address the question: What are the perceptions on gender dynamics of the small house phenomenon as an emerging family structure in contemporary Zimbabwean society? The relative newness as well as the secretive nature and complexity of the small house relationship, render the nuances of gender dynamics in such contexts worth exploring to add value to the Sociology of Families and gender dynamics. The research was conducted in Harare metropolitan province and adopted social exchange theory and African feminism to illuminate the gender dynamics in small house households. It utilised a qualitative research paradigm and employed in-depth interviews to collect data from 30 participants who were purposively sampled. Findings of the study reveal that although the small house relationship may at times be informed by the ideals of traditional Shona polygynous marital practices, it differs in several respects with polygyny as it attempts to adapt to the socio-economic demands of the 21st century. The study uncovers that the social exchanges in small house relationships are not only gendered, but also based on inequalities relating to class, age and lineage. The small house relationship at times perpetuates gender inequalities between the partners involved. The study exposed how certain small house relationships were inundated with a myriad of problems including gender-based violence, financial constraints and increased susceptibility to HIV and AIDS and other STIs. Problems experienced in small house households are often exacerbated by the secretive nature of the relationship. Furthermore, a form of hegemonic masculinity and emphasised femininity, which are manifestations of the deeply entrenched patriarchal hegemony in the Shona culture, results in asymmetrical intimate relations. It was also revealed that small house households may inadvertently violate children’s rights, including opportunities to access and secure education and social security. Reportedly, disengaged fatherhood in the context of the small house can affect children’s welfare and socialisation negatively. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (ix, 258 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Polygyny en
dc.subject Small house en
dc.subject Masculinity en
dc.subject Femininity en
dc.subject Sexuality en
dc.subject Patriarchy en
dc.subject Absent fatherhood en
dc.subject Lone parenthood en
dc.subject Social exchange theory en
dc.subject African feminism en
dc.subject.ddc 306.8096891
dc.subject.lcsh Shona (African people) -- Social life and customs -- Zimbabwe -- Harare
dc.subject.lcsh Shona (African people) -- Marriage customs and rites -- Zimbabwe -- Harare
dc.subject.lcsh Polygyny -- Social aspects -- Zimbabwe -- Harare
dc.subject.lcsh Sex role -- Zimbabwe -- Harare
dc.subject.lcsh Non-monogamous relationships -- Social aspects -- Zimbabwe -- Harare
dc.subject.lcsh Monogamous relationships -- Social aspects -- Zimbabwe -- Harare
dc.subject.lcsh Masculinity -- Social aspects -- Zimbabwe -- Harare
dc.subject.lcsh Femininity -- Social aspects -- Zimbabwe -- Harare
dc.title Gender dynamics of the small house phenomenon in the Harare Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Sociology en D. Phil. (Sociology)

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