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Culture And Violence: The Interaction Of Africa And America

L. G. Ucko
Published 1994 · Sociology

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This paper examines the interaction of African and American gender role ideologies as a possible influence on the high rate of wife abuse in African American families. African traditional expectations of strong independent women and reciprocity between spouses conflict with the European-derived American heritage of sexuality as a male status symbol and of male control of women's lives. Important differences in the meaning of male dominance/female subservience in African compared with American culture are explored. The stress created by the conflict between African and American gender role values, exacerbated by prejudice and socio-economic deprivation, may increase emotional turmoil and find expression in violence and guilt in African American families.
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