Dissertation Abstracts

The Dynamics of Cultural Polygyny and Kins’ Relationship among the Ukwuani People of Nigeria

Author: Ikem G Ujene, profikechukwu@gmail.com
Department: Sociology
University: University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Supervisor: Dauda Busari (PhD)
Year of completion: 2019
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Generations XYZ , Polygyny , Solidarity , Ukwuani
Areas of Research: Family Research , Women in Society , Comparative Sociology


The concept of polygamy (a form of marriage practiced in over 850 societies across the globe) is twisted and skewed in literature vis-a-vis the African region as polygyny is the latent referral. The existential nature of polygyny in the sub-Saharan African region cannot be overemphasized as it dates back to the time of the Africa’s ‘ancien régime.’ To this end, the Ukwuani people in the southern region of Nigeria have indulged in the perceived euphoria of polygyny from the abinitio and this has dictated overtime the relationship and solidarity between and among kins of polygynous origin yet, there is the dearth of scholarship on such germane issue hence, the pertinence and timeliness of this paper. Using qualitative data collected through in-depth interviews of 3 respondents each of generations X, Y and Z which were content-analyzed, the study shows that there is the drift of polygyny in Ukwuani in the Y generation which is ultimately owed to the effects of education, religion, economic drift and contemporary migration. With the application of the social ecological model, the paper submits among others that contemporary relationships between and among siblings of polygynous origin in Ukwuani are characterized with superficiality and high competition while interactions are (in comparing different generations) less intense and devoid of solidarity.