Chapter

Strategies of Incorporation

Mariane C. Ferme

in The Underneath of Things

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780520225428
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925717 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520225428.003.0004
Strategies of Incorporation

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This chapter focuses on marriage and forms of dependence in Sierra Leone. It argues that without understanding the emergent legacy of slavery embedded in the idiom of Mende marriage and kinship, one cannot make sense of the ambivalence with which many people approach these intimate relations. It explains that the jural rights and inheritance in Mende are by and large transmitted partilineally and that residential patterns of marriage are virilocal. It suggests that individual autonomy and independence threaten the larger units of society with infertile and unproductive splits, such as those represented by husbandless women and by strangers who have less at stake in the domestic group in which they are dependents.

Keywords: marriage; dependence; Sierra Leone; slavery; Mende; kinship; jural rights; inheritance; autonomy

Chapter.  13485 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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