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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Formation of Cohabiting Unions in Botswana: A Qualitative Study
Author:Mokomane, Zitha
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Geographic term:Botswana
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
External links:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02589000500176081
Abstract:The traditional Tswana social organization system had no place for unions in which couples cohabited without the approval of their respective families or descent groups. Recent studies, however, reveal an upward trend in the prevalence of cohabitation or people who live together outside of marriage. This paper uses qualitative data from interviews with 36 male and female cohabitants to examine the factors that may lie behind the decision to form cohabiting unions in contemporary Botswana. The data were collected in the urban town of Lobatse and a rural village in the Ngwaketse district in 2002. They indicate that there are various types of cohabitants, who can be distinguished by how rapidly they established their current cohabiting unions. Cultural and structural changes that create constraints to marriage, rather than a deliberate rejection of marriage as an institution, underlie the increased prevalence of this lifestyle in Botswana. Given that most cohabitants are likely to be young, unemployed, to hold low status/low paying occupations, to be at entry-level incomes and to have no investments, the total costs of getting married are prohibitive and can be responsible for both the delay in marriage and the increase in cohabitation. Bibliogr. [ASC Leiden abstract]