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African Population Studies
Union for African Population Studies
ISSN: 0850-5780
Vol. 25, No. 2, 2011, pp. 320-336
Bioline Code: ep11030
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Population Studies, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2011, pp. 320-336

 en Rural-to-urban migration, kinship networks, and fertility among the Igbo in Nigeria
Smith, Daniel Jordan


Like many African rural-to-urban migrants, Igbo-speaking migrants to cities in Nigeria maintain close ties to their places of origin. ‘Home people’ constitute a vital core of most migrants’ social networks. The institution of kinship enables migrants to negotiate Nigeria’s clientelistic political economy. In this context, dichotomous distinctions between rural and urban can be inappropriate analytical concepts because kinship obligations and community ties that extend across rural and urban space create a continuous social field. This paper presents ethnographic data to suggest that fertility behavior in contemporary Igbo-speaking Nigeria cannot be understood without taking into account the ways in which rural and urban social and demographic regimes are mutually implicated and dialectically constituted.

anthropological demography; migration; kinship; reproductive behavior; Nigeria

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