Affective Neutrality as a Missing Factor in African Kinship and Gender Dynamics
This paper is an anthropological presentation of the social structure, inequalities, kinship and gender dynamics incorporating the contextualisation of the five pattern variables as envisaged by Talcott Parsons. The background focuses generally on the African social exchange and property ownership relations. Attempts are made to establish a gendered relationship in which women are constantly on the receiving end, hence their predominance at the bottom of social ladder positions. In all cases, the application of the rules on the ground is seen to be dominated by cultural ethnocentrism. Particularistic considerations, or affectiveness, are lacking in the more universalistic, merit oriented and objective determinants, while the affective-neutrality criteria are essentially lacking in the mainstream African kinship ethos.