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87 Seiten, Note: 2.1
1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Justification of the Study
1.4 Research Questions
1.6 Research Methodology
1.7 Theoretical Framework of the study
1.8 Marxist Theory
1.9 How the Marxist Theory will help in unravelling the texts, She No Longer Weeps and Why Don’t We Carve Other Animals:
1.10 Feminist Theory
1.11 Africana Womanism
1.12 How the Feminist Theory and Africana Womanism will be helpful in articulating the texts She No Longer Weeps and Why Don’t You Carve Other Animals:
1.13 Postcolonial Theory
1.14 How the Post-Colonial Theory will be used in She No Longer Weeps and Why Don’t We Carve Other Animals
1.15 Reader Response Theory
1.16 How the Reader Response Theory will be useful in articulating the texts, She No Longer Weeps and Why Don’t You Carve Other Animals.
1.19 Definition of Terms
1.20 Chapter Layout
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Factors of Family Disintegration in Zimbabwe
2.2 Factors of Family Disintegration in Nigeria
2.3 Factors of Family Disintegration in the Middle East
2.4 Factors of Family Disintegration in Europe
CHAPTER THREE 3.0 Introduction
3.1 Causes and Effects of family disintegration in She No Longer Weeps
3.2 Victim and perpetrator as victims of circumstance
3.3 Adaptation to Family Disintegration
CHAPTER FOUR 4.0 Introduction
4.1 Causes and Effects of Family Disintegration
4.2 Victim and Perpetrator as Victims of Circumstances
4.3 Adaptation to Family Disintegration
CHAPTER FIVE 5.0 Research Findings
This research set out to explore how victims of family disintegration adapt to their quandary as presented in the literary works of of Dangarembga and Vera in She No Longer Weeps and Why Don’t You Carve Other Animals respectively. The researcher looked at causes and effects of family disintegration. The African family structure goes beyond the Western nuclear family as it encompasses the kindred. In order to enrich the enquiry and the findings, the theoretical framework the researcher applied originated from the Marxist, Feminist, Post-colonial, Africana Womanist, and Reader Response Theories. Their interwoven dynamic articulation helped in bringing out the outcome. From the analysis of the texts in question, the researcher found out that adaptation to family disintegration is as versatile as are the causes and effects of family discord. Adaptation had its projection from both a positive or negative perspective and the outcome could not be detached from either of the perspectives albeit certain traits could not hint a tallying prediction. It can be inferred that adaptation has its propensity more to intuition and conscious and subconscious response to the environment than reasoning. The researcher recommended a prolific and more balanced approach to family disintegration from the female writer’s perspective. A sense of hope had to be instilled in the mindset of victims so that they do not accept the negative impact of fate was another recommendation. The researcher also recommended positive solutions to perennial problems affecting families within literary works as pointing them out was not enough.
- Family Disintegration
- Perpetrato r
- Survival Strategy
I would like to acknowledge the assiduous role of my supervisor Ms M. Mancuveni throughout this daunting research project.
It would be unjust to leave out my family whose time I sacrificed in the course of four continuous years. My wife, Sarah, inspected my progress as my children, Salem, Shammah, Shekinah and Salome all accommodated my commitment. I also give some credit to my parents for their moral support. God bless my family.
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the moral support from my workmates and college mates who continually supported me ethically.
This research seeks to investigate how victims of family disintegration, due to divorce, intra-family conflict, war, violence, abuse, work, colonisation and urbanisation survive or adapt to the rigorous circumstances befalling them, a gap often omitted by other researchers as they stress much on the causes and effects of family disintegration. She No Longer Weeps by Dangarembga and Why Don't You Carve Other Animals by Vera are texts which will be looked into in order to substantiate the subject matter. Theories of literature, namely, the Marxist, Feminist, Africana womanism, Post-colonial and Reader Response theories will be employed for the purpose of dissecting and classifying the ideologies of the texts in question. There is also substantive evidence, from other writers, of portrayal of family disintegration in Zimbabwean literature. Mungoshi in Walking Still, in the story “The Hare” (1997) and Marechera in House of Hunger (1978) are some of the writers who have explicitly portrayed the mundane family disintegration. However, the researcher has noted with concern how other researchers have delved and dwelled much on causes and effects of family disintegration but have overlooked how the victims survive and how they adapt to the perennial brutality of the same, hence the researcher seeks to fill this gap.
It is imperative to understand the meaning of a family or what is expected of its integration before introducing family disintegration. According to the Family Impact Seminar (1988), a family is defined as a product of two pertinent aspects which are structural and functional in nature. A structural family can be that of people related biologically or through marriage and even through adoption. The family relationship is not necessarily responsibility binding; not that responsibility is overlooked but just to emphasise a point, for example, a biological father can abandon his children and that does not literally make him relinquish his fatherhood. Siblings can be remarkable distances apart but that doesn’t dismantle the family structure. A functional and ideal family is identified with salient features such as sharing of all available resources, caring and supporting one another, committing and identifying with one another, preparing and sustaining the welfare of children born until they become adults just to mention a few.
Chirozva, Mubaya, Mukamuri (2018) allude a family to be, traditionally and particularly in the Zimbabwean context, extended. Whereas, in the Western context, Webster Dictionary (2015), family is confined to father, mother and their respective children, or just a single parent and child; in the Zimbabwean context kinship is considered the nucleus of a family. Saegel (1996), concurs to this assertion as he says that Africans generally use the term to denote kinsfolks and generations home and abroad. This is a coalescence of all kinship, brothers, sisters, cousins and all other relations emanating from exogamous unions. However, the Zimbabwean family structure has been perforated and subjugated by Western culture due to colonisation and globalisation, so to speak.
The pre-colonial era of Africans was imbedded in systematic structures that catered for it’s political, economic, and social engagements. There was also a strong connection to the spiritual world, whose inclination determined the overall well-being of every block of societal edifice. Ross (2014) affirms that all the integrity of an African was intricately interlinked to the rudiments of spirituality. There were values that were considered in order to sustain a viable family. It was rare to encounter orphans, perpetual family conflicts, homeless children and single parents - these are the striking features of family disintegration. Whenever there was a death in the family, the elders of the clan would go to enquire for the possible cause. IJPC (2016), in Africa divination ascertains the cause of death, especially early deaths, with causes being ascribed to some supernatural forces like witchcraft or curses from gods or God. The ability to curse or bless rests within the supernatural world, so appeasing the gods or God is the only way to flourishing.
All the curses and misfortunes were nipped in the bud by collectivism and the slightest insinuations of causes of family disintegration were collectively incinerated by consultation, appeasing the gods and divination. Any unusual behaviour, or anything that did not tally with the norms or believed and widely accepted ideologies was condemned and combated in order to bequeath unity and family integration to the current and next generation. Every deed and purpose in the functional society upheld family integration without which the elders would relentlessly seek after lasting remedies and preventive measures with considerable haste. It can be concluded that all aspects of life oscillated on the fulcra of belief in the supernatural.
Moreover, the pre-colonial era was dominated by barter trade in its economy thus standing loftier than the hustle of monetary issues of the modern day economy which has, in some cases, set families apart in search of thriving and sustainable economies. Money is right at the core of most of family problems today. In the African context the issue of money is something that the populace is struggling to efficiently come to terms with since it is an adopted system. That adaptation has attracted a heavy price to pay for the African fraternity. Magirosa (2015) discloses that while a woman held a highly esteemed position in the home and society before colonisation, her position was undermined by colonisation and hasty urbanisation that seduced her to abandon the so called honour and abruptly prompted her to jump into the rural-to-urban bandwagon. The migration stifled the lifeline of a proud African woman reducing her to a mere shopkeeper, bartender, or trader that is if she was lucky enough to escape the infamous route of being a sex worker. This notion has wreaked havoc on the African family giving it a tumultuous atmosphere. New family structures are now randomly sprouting with vast adjustments portraying elements of chaos.
Nonetheless, it was not only women who were drastically affected by colonisation and urbanisation but men too. Men had to leave their families in the rural areas to go and work in towns only to reunite with their families weekly, fortnightly or even annually depending on distance and or whether or not core family values were still upheld. This created a proliferation of unlawful polygamous marriages because men would attach themselves to urban women who were in their proximity. Unfortunately, some of the unions brought with them sexually transmitted infections and this spelt some deaths in particular families. The affected families would finally be overwhelmed with widows, orphans and multiple challenges. Immorality also took its toll on the fragmented families. Urbanisation was mother to thieves, whores and hooligans; this further created a wide rift within an already threatened culture.
The liberation struggle also accelerated the tearing away of families as men and women joined the struggle. Families lost their loved ones until every other home lost one or more of its respective unifiers or breadwinners. The liberation struggle induced cracked relationships amongst the African family as other people went to war to fight for the freedom of the country and others deserted their own people and joined the colonialists in a bid to survive. Here the Zimbabwean community had its family structures were caught in a web. Alexander and Mcgregor (2004), recount that women recruits, trained separately in Mkushi camp, developed their own ways of coping with the difﬁculties of camp life, largely through building relationships with Zambians. Recruits described shortages of soap, clothing and food. They usually had only one uniform and had to sit naked while it dried, or wear it wet, after washing it. Their relationship with Zambian instructors was resented by their Zimbabwean counterparts. If seen talking to them, you would be in hot soup. As the Zambians were very kind, they used to give us some beef, tooth paste and soap for bathing. The Zimbabwean instructors were very jealous about that offer. Those ladies who fell in love with the Zambians were beaten up seriously and punished the whole week.
Colonisation did a major blow to the unity of Zimbabweans. According to Cohen (2011), the smaller white government further encouraged a slender and distinctly isolated identity among the black African populace through a policy of “provincialisation” or “regionalisation” effected in 1972. On top of the prevailing division of land into European and African zones, the white administration divided the nation into three groups- whites, Mashona and Matabele. “By allocating greater local government powers to chiefs and clannish authorities, and stressing the differences between the two main African groups, the regime’s aim is to encourage a narrow tribal identity among the black people”. By generating competition for supremacy and emphasizing variances between the two groups, the white regime hoped it would play the two groups off each other, averting the two groups from uniting over a more collective identity, such as being African and likewise oppressed. The strategies of the minority white regime continually disenfranchised the mainstream population and created and defined a national identity that debarred indigenous black Africans, while concurrently creating a narrow African identity along tribal lines.
In the backdrop of an enlightening definition of a solid family, it can now be possible to hold other features or family interaction against that authentic light in order to diagnose family relations. Portrayal of family disintegration by literary works becomes easy to identify. It is within the disintegration that the researcher draws the subject matter. It can be deduced now that family disintegration lacks one or all of the building blocks of what a healthy family is composed of.
WHO (1978) states that family, a socio-biological establishment, is the fundamental player in reproduction and social needs, as well as the determiner of roles and associations with the community. Nonetheless, it is unfortunate that the notion as stated above is subverted by family disintegration which erupts in numerous ways so as to render its victims clueless in curbing the consequences. Family is a sure foundation of all joy, well-being and universal progress. Everything worthwhile in the evolution of mankind is hinged on prolific relations replenished by visionary entities should the preceding quote be valued with the cognisance it really deserves.
Makinwa (2012) highlights that signs for disintegrating family life are apparent and buttressed by indicators of high divorce rates, domestic mistreatment and viciousness, juvenile misdemeanour instigated by lack of honest nurturing of youth and unsettled family conflicts between spouses as well as between parents and their offspring. It seems divorce signifies a broken home and on the other hand a broken home could be a product of divorce. Disintegrated families have a likelihood of producing members who are prone to violence, divorce, and delinquency; more like a vicious cycle.
According to the European Commission (2009), children from disintegrated families are prone to poor educational achievement as compared to their counterparts who have intact families. As it stands good education and achievement are vital organs of a successful future. From the onset family disintegration sets an uneven plane for its victims. The lack of education or the disadvantage to education strikes another blow to a well organised future of the affected members, as one might say.
WHO (1978) states that, family life is quickly becoming a battleground where scores for normalcy and social order are perpetually underscored and settled. It can be deduced that wars are fought for principle but given the status quo, imminent progress in universal family union seems far-fetched. Families are becoming further divided each passing day. It seems even the nuclear family in the Western context is suffering the modern day rifts. Ritcher (2017) confirms that single parenthood is right on the increase in the Western culture but the long term effects of the system are yet to be observed.
According to Greenhaus and Beutell (1985), work and family conflict occurs mostly when the requirements of family and work roles become discordant in certain respect so that operating in one sphere becomes very difficult because of participation in another. Mooney et al (2009), family separation is not an event but a process of varying problems culminating to a family breakdown. These problems can be financial, social or merely family conflicts amongst others. Parental conflicts pose potential threat to the psychological and simply the wellbeing of the respective children.
The causes and effects of family disintegration are predominant in literary research but a provision to accentuate a uniform survival strategy to escape the traumatic experiences remains in a nebulous sphere. Moreover, there is no emphasis on how to morally prevent or rectify the cause but just a mere adaptation to whatever fate brings to the fore. This research through an analysis of She No Longer Weeps by Dangarembga and Why Don’t You Carve Other Animals by Vera sets to deal with this gap in literary studies.
The purpose of this study is to critically explore how victims of family disintegration adapt to their predicament in selected literary texts. A lot of research material deals with causes of family disintegration and the effects but how victims thrive, regardless of the means, is still a bone of contention. She No Longer Weeps by Dangarembga and Why Don’t You Carve Other Animals by Vera will be used to substantiate my research because their texts deal with these issues.
- How do people cope with family disintegration?
- Do perpetrators have ultimate control over their atrocities or sometimes it is because of circumstances?
- Are there ripple effects interlocking causes and effects?
- How are perpetrators and victims portrayed by writers?
Through an analysis of texts, She No Longer Weeps and Why Don’t You Carve Other Animals: the researcher aims to:
- find out the link between the causes and effects of Family disintegration,
- establish the adaptation trajectory pursued by victims of family disintegration,
- deliberate on how at times victim and perpetrator are both victims of circumstance, and
- discuss how victims are portrayed as helpless but mere navigators going downstream.
According to Bell (1987) research methodology propagates the principles and procedures that govern the parameters of research. The entire process of research is confined within research methodology. This embraces ways that are used by the researcher to gather data and guard approaches that are used in the research design.
This research was based on a textual approach, the method researchers use to describe and interpret the characteristics of communication, (Frey, Botan & Kreps, 1999). The purpose is to describe the content and function of communication relayed in the texts. Literary theories, which are different lenses that allow critics to view the works of art based on certain assumptions, were also used.
The researcher used qualitative and descriptive designs. There is a rich collection of data in qualitative research and hence more comprehensive because a variety of sources are used in order to gain a profound understanding of distinct members. Descriptive research aims at describing a phenomenon and its characteristics. (Gall, Gall & Borg, 2007).
Data was collected from primary sources namely She No Longer Weeps and Why Don’t You Carve Other Animals by Dangarembga and Vera respectively but this was also substantiated by secondary sources emanating from a variety of authors whose inclination was worthwhile to the subject matter.
Marxist, Feminist, and Reader response theories will be employed in order to dissect and unravel the texts She No Longer Weeps and Why Don’t You Carve Other Animals. Each theory will be used on how it relates primarily to the two texts. There might not be uniformity in application of the theories but each theory will have its specific role in exploration of the texts. This helps the researcher to classify lines of thought as prescribed by Dangarembga and Vera.
According to Coker (2014), Marxism is said to have made notable strides in contributing solutions to a troubled society. The theory was proposed by 19th century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It deals with class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development. Marxism is against any form of inequality and oppression. The theory appealed so much to African countries because of their history of colonisation. The primary texts in question are set within the confines of colonisation and patriarchy; and their effects; hence the Marxist theory becomes an apt tool in this research.
The theory will be used to analyse class issues emanating from the primary texts which have a direct bearing on family issues.
This theory advocates for gender equality in all spheres of the dynamic life, that is politically, economically and socially. It underscores the relevance of gender in the daily running of business and makes it an issue wherever gender seems disregarded. Feminists believe that inequality in gender has its foundation in the formative years of individuals where boys believe that there are masculine and girls feminine. Feminist theory advocates for reading and interpreting literary works from a woman’s perspective. It also examines men’s against women’s roles, similarities and differences in experiences, stereotyping and patriarchy.
This theory irradiates characteristics of an African Woman experience. Albeit it is generated by an African American academic, Hudson-Weems, Africana Womanism surpasses the borders of the United States to captivate the needs and objectives of women from Africa. (Cohen :2011). The ideology focuses on every woman of African descent. The theory is grounded in Afrocentrism and the African culture; it dwells on the desires, needs and struggles of Africana women of the African diaspora. It focuses on injustices and realities within a society in regards to race. Africana Womanism is narrowed to be completely African centred. Its creation separates African women’s accomplishments from their male counterparts and feminism. There is the notion of self-namer and self-definer.
She No Longer Weeps is a feminist text which deals with patriarchy and its effects on the family unit. As such, the issues raised in the text about family have a direct link to the theory of feminism and Africana Womanism. The theories will show its effort to challenge the widely accepted norms, ideologies, and priorities in the African culture and other aspects of life. It is within this context that a review of life and traditions come to the fore. Biber (2002) confirms that the Feminist context is observant to matters of variance, the probing of social authority, resistance to scientific domination, and an obligation to political involvement and social integrity. The Feminist Theory proposes a perspective for understanding human demeanour in the social atmosphere by zeroing on women and matters that women encounter in contemporary society. It also gives a reflection of how the world views the values that face the traditional incongruence based on gender, (Lay, Daley, 2015).
Africana Womanism will open the focal lens of how women name and define themselves in the African context. It will establish how African women relate to their environment in the face of multiple challenges including male chauvinism. The injustices women encounter will also be exposed. However, there is a distinct line that accredits it from feminism as it advocates for motherly approach to family problems.
This theory applies to countries which are or once were colonies of other countries. It centres on literature produced therein and emphasise a critical approach. This approach also encompasses literary works produced by the colonisers in relation to their subject countries. It frequently addresses the complications and consequences of the decolonisation of a country, exclusively questions linking to the political and cultural liberation of previously conquered people, and subjects such as racialism and imperialism.
Actually, the tussle of once-colonized African states did not end with political independence as economic, cultural, and political domination remains in place, (Gomba : 2017). The theory will help identify the cultural and economic struggles in the framework of the post-colonial era. An identity crisis seems an issue in post-colonial literature, an ideology thrusted by Dangarembga and Vera in their works.
Trisnawati (2017) defines this theory as one that has attention shifting from text to the reader. The reader is active and can read between the lines to further explore the contents of a text to determine some meaning. It can be said that, a reader, a text and the reading process produce an active process of interpreting and negotiating meaning. The reader receives motivation from the reading process and spontaneously complements a text. Literature could be viewed from multiple varying points using a number of theories.
The researcher will make sense out of his reading by exploring and analysing the texts She No Longer Weeps and Why Don’t You Carve Other Animals as reading literature enhances better reading and writing abilities. There will be creation and communication of meaning in the process of reading and writing. Garzon (2015), states that the perception of language on its own evokes creativity and communication of meaning. Many people believe that the core reason of language is centred on communication and creation.
The study will centre around two texts by two different female writers whose focal lenses converge to the same arena. It is needless to elaborate on the political, economic and social fraternities, both writers have gone through it all, hence they share similar experiences.
The study is confined to two female writers whose ages and works share the same respective eras. Their ideologies and perception could be similar. There is a likelihood of gender biased notions and perceptions because the primary texts originate from two women who might have shared similar experiences. Lastly, lack of adequate resources is a crunch to an otherwise superb flow of efficient and timely research process.
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Chapter one gave the title, introduction and the respective outline of this research, while chapter two entailed literature review around family disintegration. Chapter three illustrated adaptation to family disintegration in the text, She No Longer Weeps by Dangarembga and chapter four focused on adaptation to family disintegration in the text, Why Don’t You carve Other Animals by Vera. Chapter five gave the conclusion and recommendations to this research.
This chapter gave a framework to the discourse of the current research as there was a statement of the problem, justification of the study, aims and objectives, and the methodology employed. The theoretical framework encompassed the Marxist, Post-colonial, Feminist and Africana Womanism theories, the lens with which articulated She No Longer Weeps and Why Don’t You Carve Other animals. Delimitation, limitation, definition of terms, and chapter layout respectively were also included.
Literature review critically summarises published research which is related to research being investigated in an objective manner, (Fry: 2018). The researcher, in this chapter, will review related literature for the sake of underscoring how various scholars have explored the field of family disintegration and how they have provided clues for further research. It is of paramount importance to see if there has been some form of diagnosis in the research. The exploration of other researchers has provided a platform on which to see other needful research which is actually some evolution on the body of knowledge.
The researcher will be engaged in selecting, analysing, organising and synthesising the related works of others, thus articulating the secondary sources of information. This is an expansion of knowledge, replenishing knowledge and questions as well as creating further areas to be researched on. As there will be building blocks from other researchers, the researcher will be able to logically set a clear directional picture of all the appendages within reasonable reach of family disintegration. It is likely that more questions will arise in the process. Whether they be questions or conundrums, an expansion in the body of knowledge becomes inevitable.
In order to visualize the route to be taken, the researcher has seen it pertinent to briefly introduce a course of action to be executed, which will be, looking at the causes and effects of family disintegration, identifying victims, ascertaining how at times victim and perpetrator just become victims of circumstance as well as discussing victimhood in the subsequent texts. It is within the causes and effects that some questions like, how then do victims of family disintegration thrive under such conditions? Family disintegration seems a much talked about subject but the more it has been discussed the greater the splinter across homes. Questions arise, if the academic arena has been helpful or harmful on the subject. What could be lacking in the exploration? What really needs to be addressed, at what level, and how?
Divorce being one of the dominant features of family discord, Haimi and Lerner (2016) highlight that during the 1980s and 1990s many studies in various fields investigated the question whether there is a negative effect of the process of divorce on children. Although most studies indicated that divorce has negative impact on children, there are many different interpretations about the subject.
Mugovera (2017), in the pre-colonial era, marriage got the reverence it really deserves, it was a towering institution of any society in Zimbabwe. Back then a couple would get to know each other in the shortest time possible and marry for a lifetime whereas today they date for years and marry for a few months before they divorce, just to illustrate a point. Divorce is ironically as common as family integration was in the pre-colonial era of Zimbabwe. With so much intermittence in relationships, there seem to be no organized way of coping with the ominous culture but to simply clutch to any nearby straws in the storm.
Magirosa (2015) states that before colonialism, a Zimbabwean woman was responsible for her home, the field, harvest, pottery-making and many other activities that she knew from childhood. She held a strong position in the family as a mother, sister, aunt, grandmother cousin or great grandmother. In spiritual terms, the Zimbabwean woman could have been a spirit medium or svikiro, midwife, traditional healer or a powerful elder and leader of the family group. However, most of these roles were to be denigrated and dismissed when colonialism and Christianity came.
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