Providing Love

Mark Hunter

in Love in Africa

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226113524
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226113555 | DOI:
Providing Love

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This chapter draws on historical and ethnographic material from the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal to show how economic changes have shaped and reshaped the negotiation of affect and exchange. It reviews the changing ways in which men have “provided love” in South Africa as love became embroiled with vastly different forms of male assistance. The centrality of marriage and “building a home” to men's identity shaped the way that men fell in love. The aggressive pursuit of men for gifts as described in this chapter is only one response by poorer women to social conditions in contemporary South Africa. Moreover, most men are failing to marry and provide for wives, but many can satisfy a more contingent form of love by supporting girlfriends.

Keywords: love; KwaZulu-Natal; exchange; marriage; gifts; contemporary South Africa

Chapter.  9145 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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