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Title: Maputo has no marriage material : sexual relationships in the politics of social affirmation and emotional stability amongst cosmopolitans in an African city
Author: Manuel, Sandra
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 1262
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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This study explores the dynamics of sexuality amongst relatively wealthier urban young adults in the capital of Mozambique, Maputo. How class works in shaping sexuality and gender dynamics constitute some of the questions tackled here. Such questions have not received much attention on studies regarding these topics in the African continent. Based on 15 months of fieldwork, the thesis analyses how young adults use sexuality to give a sense of self and personhood in a context marked by rapid transformations occurring in the country intertwined with the legacy of colonialism, socialism, civil war and liberalisation of the economy. Tactical agency emerges as a critical concept to explain the ways in which both men and women manoeuvre to reach emotional stability and social recognition in the city. Questions of identity, which are negotiated in regards to diverse modernities and African heritage, are at the core of radical contradictions that characterise the everyday dynamics, expectations of young cosmopolitans in the city. Amongst young adults there is a constant (re-)shaping of perceptions and ways of living femininities and masculinities. These are fuelled by internal logics of sexual and intimate relationships as well as the management of emotions within them. However, class and its dispositions permeate these processes. Marriage is the key means to socially recognized adulthood however; the process towards it is perilous as it involves a constant negotiation of expectations. Finally, love emerges as a space of catharsis in which individuals feel at ease and distant from social pressures and the desire to 'fit in'. Paradoxically it is a space of stress it is perceived as a source of profound unhappiness when things go wrong.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral