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The Dynamics of Bride Price in Zimbabwe and the UK Diaspora

Research output: Book/ReportBook

The tradition of Bride Price has been at the heart of marriage for many centuries in numerous cultures across the globe. The Dynamics of Bride Price presents new research data from Zimbabwe and the UK highlighting the transnational dimension of the practice, its diversity in different contexts and across generations, and its influence on the structure of gender relationships and inequalities.

The transnational element of its investigation into the institution and traditions of African marriage sets this book apart from existing study and offers its readers a nuanced and complex understanding of the perceptions and experiences of Bride Price across diverse contexts. This original contribution will be of great interest to those studying and teaching courses on Gender and Development, as well as researchers and policymakers of cultural practices.This research consists of a literature review examining the current discourses on Bride Price. The literature review then informed the subsequent data collection. My findings reveal multiple contradictions. Many felt the practice is out-dated but still stated they would observe it, while others held to its centrality as an expression of cultural identity. Some supported feminist arguments that link the practice with gender inequalities. Clearly expectations around Bride Price have intensified with globalisation and migration. Diaspora Zimbabweans now face the highest Bride Price bill, with couples having to raise the money jointly. My analysis revealed that Bride Price intersects with religious beliefs on marriage which are in turn founded on patriarchal ideology that sees wives as the property of their husbands. As such my book supports feminist arguments that practices such as Bride Price are harmful and represent barriers to the empowerment of women.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherVernon Press
Number of pages222
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-64889-058-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-62273-817-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameVernon Series in Sociology
PublisherVernon Press

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Relations Get citation (various referencing formats)

ID: 21053609