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Somali families in Somalia and in those in the Diaspora take many forms. Presenters discuss polygamy, parenting in the Diaspora, kinship and the construction of clan, and the use of poetry to negotiate family relations.

Family 1: Acculturation and Power Divide

Abdirazak Farah describes how Somali youth become disproportionately empowered vis a vis their parents in dealing with social, education, and law enforcement systems.

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Family 2: Parenting in the Diaspora

Dr. Kapteijns explains how Somali parents learn Western parenting behaviors of negotiation with children, and the particular importance assigned to Islamic identity.

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Family 3: Negotiating Family Relation Through Poetry

Dr. Johnson narrates a vingnette in which a wife uses poetry to voice her disapproval of her husband’s choice of a groom for their daughter

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Family 4: Kinship & Clan Construction

Dr. Lidwien Kapteijns describes distinct concepts of kinship (biologically based) vs clan linkage (culturally-constructed) in the context of Somalia

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Family 5: Polygamy

Dr. Kapteijns discusses the traditional importance of polygamy to assure enough children for household labor, wealth, and ongoing lineage.

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