Structures of family organisation and urbanisation in Africa: the case of Cotonou

Denis Amossou-Yeye, Université d’Abomey-Calavi

The variable geographic milieu with its three classic modes as urban, semi-urban and rural, is an important factor which determines the modes of family organization in Cotonou, the more big city of Benin. If the rural milieu can permit the existence of extended family, large and polygamist, and residing in the space of a big common house, the life conditions in the african cities in general and Cotonou in particular (housing and income), non only make difficult the survival of the extended family, but also develop survival and adaptation strategies to the urban life conditions which give birthday to many types of original family organization, from classic polygamist family (several women living in the same house called « carré » in Cotonou, that means a morsel of about 500 m2 ) to degenerate forms of one-parent family centred on a woman with her children, but dependent of subsidies of a man , generally father of these children.

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Presented in Poster Session 1