Kin in Daily Routines: Time Use and Childrearing in Rural South Africa

Madhavan, Sangeetha; Gross, Mark
March 2013
Journal of Comparative Family Studies;Mar/Apr2013, Vol. 44 Issue 2, p175
Academic Journal
A critical component of child rearing is time use. There has been a wealth of studies on time use in child rearing focusing on biological parents in the US and western contexts but there is a notable absence of any scholarship on time use that has incorporated extended kin in the African context. This paper examines time use with children in rural South Africa using observational data and incorporates a range of kin and non-kin. The analysis focuses on 24 children under the age of 6 and all the people who interact with them over the course of a week. Through an examination of the composition of care networks, the quantity and quality of time investment, and the relationship between care networks and child outcomes, the findings support a kin-based, socially distributed model of child rearing but also challenge assumptions about the extent of kin involvement and impact on child outcomes.


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