African Man with Child

African Man w Child_tif480
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3 Essays

  1. Craig Coelen, Catherine Haggerty, and John Thompson | NORC, University of Chicago says:

    Common among all societies is the fact that widely diverse family structures produce happy, healthy children. Children always benefit from the emotional nurturing and developmental support provided by caring adults, both men and women. Increasingly, societies are looking beyond a fathers’ economic responsibility to consider the other forms of support that fathers can and do give. Here a father and son in traditional African attire represent timeless family values in an increasingly modern Africa.

  2. Leslie Salzinger | Boston College says:

    Many of these pictures are both beautiful and thought provoking, but the Ghana Stock Exchange Billboard is irresistible, particularly set next to others: a bookstore advertising all manner of legal services posted on wooden slats; mass-produced “traditional” pottery; a man and child in traditional(?) costume walking barefoot in the city, grocery carton in hand. What’s so remarkable about globalization I think is not as much its reach as the dependable inconsistency of its effects. These incongruities are not new, but they have intensified in recent decades. Where one wonders are that man and child coming from, going to? Who chooses the patterns on that pottery? How many people who can’t read and write themselves need to have letters written, to truck in powers of attorney and affidavits, even as the rest of their lives are structured through old or emergent magical beliefs? The pictures don’t answer these questions, but they richly raise them.

    The stock exchange billboard takes all this to another level, since if anywhere in the rich countries we see an ongoing interaction with magical thinking, it is in the world of stocks and bonds, where individual lives are buffeted by forces beyond their control or comprehension. To see that purveyor of new luck and misfortune, standing against the scrubby dirt in Ghana, makes concrete in a way that no words can, the incongruous but nonetheless simultaneous schemas into which globalization has thrown us all.

  3. Nancy Mathiowetz | University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee says:

    Cultures that revere elders are sustained by family systems and family lives that integrate the old and the young, and in which elders contribute productive work, family services and valued knowledge of sacred or secular ways.