Motives and Agency in Forced Marriage among the Urban Poor in Tanzania
Stark, L. (2020). Motives and Agency in Forced Marriage among the Urban Poor in Tanzania. Ethnos, 85(1), 124-144. https://doi.org/10.1080/00141844.2018.1559214
© 2019 the Author
Using the method of third-person elicitation and 171 interviews in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, I examine one form of forced marriage, ‘marriage on the mat’ (ndoa ya mkeka). In it, girls’ parents use the normative pressure of Islamic norms to circumvent the groom’s lack of consent to the marriage and promote their daughter’s future economic security. Premarital sex and forced marriage, rarely examined together, are often causally linked and provide strong motives for parents to resort to ndoa ya mkeka. In an urban context where girls’ and women’s income-earning possibilities are limited to transactional sex, marriage at a young age is often the only way to embody the culturally approved behaviours of both economic self-sufficiency and sexual modesty. Findings indicate that coercive practices do not necessarily rule out the agency of those coerced; similarly in forced marriage parents are not always oppressors and daughters are not always the victims.
ISSN Search the Publication Forum0014-1844
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Programme, AoF
Additional information about fundingThis work was supported by the Academy of Finland under [Grant Number 265737]; Kulttuurin ja Yhteiskunnan Tutkimuksen Toimikunta.
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