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The family at the heart of the household : evolution and differentiation of household structure in Côte d'Ivoire, 1975-98

Abstract : This article analyses the evolution of household structure from the middle of the 1970s to the end of the 1990s in Côte d'Ivoire, as recorded in three data collection operations (1975, 1988 and 1998). It suggests that there is more than one principle of organization of family structure, and that the various socioeconomic groups behave differently. Various forces that bind or dissolve families, such a nuclearization, the hosting of other relatives, individualization or marital instability, are encountered within the households, and account for their particular morphology in line with the distribution of characteristics that vary by socioeconomic group. The particular mix is determined at least in part by the economic and financial ability of the groups to withstand the constraints of the crises encountered by Ivorian society since the early 1980s, but also in part by the demographic characteristics of sex and age of the heads of household. The structure of households is a joint function of the economic and social position of their heads, but also of the stage of the life cycle in which they are located. The analysis shows that Côte d'Ivoire, in the last twenty years, has witnessed an evolution of the family model, that is of the mode of more or less stable communal living specific to economic groups. This evolution is linked to the transformations of marital and kinship solidarity. It developed under the influence of the modernization of socioeconomic structures, which continued through recession and crises. Little by little, the household models diverge by social strata. At the same time, the members of the family nucleus and, beyond them, the members of the kinship group, represent a larger share of households. More than ever, the family is at the heart of the household.
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Submitted on : Monday, May 16, 2011 - 12:40:31 PM
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Patrice Vimard, Raïmi Fassassi. The family at the heart of the household : evolution and differentiation of household structure in Côte d'Ivoire, 1975-98. Van de Walle, Etienne. African households censuses and surveys, M.E. Sharpe ; M.E. Sharpe, pp.102-125, 2006, A General Demography of Africa. ⟨ird-00593507⟩



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