Dissertation Abstracts

Going the Distance: A Description of Commuter Marriages in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Author: Kumswa, Sahmicit K, sahmicit@gmail. com
Department: Sociology
University: University of South Africa, Pretoria Campus, South Africa
Supervisor: Prof. M. E. Rabe
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Family , Commuter Marriages , Qualitative Methods
Areas of Research: Family Research , Population


This thesis seeks to describe an emerging trend among urban Nigerian couples called the commuter marriage. The aim of this study is to ascertain how couples in such marriages cope and to understand the processes involved. A commuter marriage is one variation of a multitude of families found today. Commuter marriages involve one spouse who works away from home while the other spouse, usually the wife, stays at the home base or primary home of residence with the children. This situation is usually triggered by the wish to improve a couple’s socioeconomic position. Literature reviewed showed that there is not much African literature describing or discussing contemporary family life in Africa/Nigeria. The Family Life Course perspective is employed in this research as it tends to follow transitions and trajectories of families at special stages or events. The Life Course perspective also looks at characteristics within a family that makes it distinct from other events a family may have gone through, providing clues to why families in the same process behave alike or not, while also looking at families through historical and societal lenses so as to record and interpret changes.

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