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Title:Evading Household Indebtedness through Participation in Group Solidarity Coping Strategies in Contemporary Botswana
Author:Ngwenya, Barbara N.
Periodical:Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review (ISSN 1027-1775)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
Subjects:burial societies
self-help associations
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Economics and Trade
Women's Issues
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
Cultural Roles
Household debt
Women's participation
Survival strategies
Poverty alleviation
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/eastern_africa_social_science_research_review/v020/20.2ngwenya.pdf
Abstract:This paper examines group solidarity coping strategies in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and structural social inequalities in Botswana, paying particular attention to burial societies. It used ethnographic methods to gather data in Gaborone, the capital city, and Ramotswa, a village in the Southeast District. Cultural analysis of ethnographic data suggests that women constitute the majority in these groups and a profile of the groups includes burial societies, community-based 'whistle blowers' and kin-oriented groupings, impromptu relief task groups, 'people's banks', and consumer or savings-cum-credit associations. Although multi-purpose in nature, these groups help members to have direct and predictable access to emergency financial relief that helps them to forestall or evade immediate household indebtedness especially due to escalating costs of funerals. The groups have redistributional features associated with procurement, management and authority to dispense resources from those who are not in need to those who are. Group solidarity is built on contemporary reinvention of long-standing Tswana principles of reciprocity and 'botho' (civility). Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]