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Love in Africa$
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Jennifer Cole and Lynn M. Thomas

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226113524

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226113555.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 May 2022

Managing Men, Marriage, and Modern Love

Managing Men, Marriage, and Modern Love

Women's Perspectives on Intimacy and Male Infidelity in Southeastern Nigeria

Chapter:
(p.157) 6 Managing Men, Marriage, and Modern Love
Source:
Love in Africa
Author(s):

Daniel Jordan Smith

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226113555.003.0007

This chapter is about Igbo women's strategies for dealing with their husband's infidelities in “love marriages.” It discusses how older Igbo ideals of marriage were premised on a conception of marriage as a joint project of social reproduction, in which men and women had separate but complementary roles. Women's responses to male infidelity provide a revealing and instructive lens through which to examine the complex connections between economics, romance, and gender, particularly in marriages where couples see themselves as having modern relationships premised on romantic love. Intimacy in marriage is heavily inflected by people's concerns about the social perceptions of their marriage and can best be understood as a kind of negotiated exchange between husband and wife. New social expectations about women's domestic roles exacerbate the difficulty of addressing men's infidelity. It is noted that love is less than liberating for Igbo women.

Keywords:   love marriages, male infidelity, Igbo women, economics, romance, gender, romantic love, intimacy

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