NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED314325
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988
Pages: 40
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Role and Status Continuity: A Study of Aging Women in Traditional Samburu Society.
Eddowes, Jeannette Rickner
Gerontocratic is a term that is applied to societies that are governed by older men. This document reports the findings of an ethnographic study that investigated the experience of aging women in a traditional gerontocratic society in Kenya. Tribal women's roles and status were the central themes examined in light of dominant characteristics of Samburu culture. Research revealed women's roles are typically predetermined by traditional expectations. Socially acceptable roles are narrowly defined by cultural norms; consequently, role ambiguity and conflict appear minimal. Wife, mother, and kinswoman emerged as dominant roles of adult life. Establishing and maintaining kin relationships is a life-long process. The nature of these relationships determine the attentiveness and care the very old receive, as they are entirely dependent on kin in the absence of any formal services. At any age, women's status is below that of circumcised males. However, there is a marginal increase in position in the clan as the woman makes a place within the family she raises. Women's roles and status are characterized throughout life by continuity, while men's are characterized by change through an age-grade system. Apparently gender is a greater determinant of these themes than age. Conclusions focus on implications of this study for further research concerning women in gerontocratic societies. (Author/JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kenya