Young Africans. Peculiarities of Social Practices and their Role in the Formation of the Young Generation


Natalia Krylova, Inna Rybalkina


For the first time in African studies, conducted in Russia, the authors generalize and analyze the experience of centuries-old socialization practices in conjunction with the latest trends in this field.

The problem of childhood has long occupied an independent place in the wide range of scientific disciplines that to some extent examine the image of man. It is difficult to avoid standard phrases expressing the possibilities of studying this stage of a person’s life, all those institutions, rules and codes, traditions, customs and innovations, models of morality and culture that are laid in this unique period of life when mental essence and civil image are formed. One of the main factors of the sociocultural nature that forms a young African is the influence of community norms and traditions of values that hold down a person and tie him to a given social group. In a traditional African society, the family has always been (and remains) the main institution of socialization; for the individual it has been that very sociocultural field within which the personality has been formed. In a large African family, the problem boiles down to the development of a very simple model of behavior – to follow the precepts of the ancestors, to reproduce their experience and skills, to preserve their way of life. The formation of more or less close relations of the child with adults who take care of him/her – parents, relatives, friends of the family, etc. – turns the latter into the main agents of his/her socialization.

At present, one of the most important factors of socialization is schooling. Often children combine study and work; in Africa, child labor is the most common in the world. Despite the official legal prohibition of the use of child labor, family control plays a key role in its practice. It depends mainly on the family whether the child continues to study or leaves school and engages only in labor activity, the latter primarily within the family. The problem of reducing and eradicating child labor has both moral, ethical, and socio-economic aspects. To solve it, it is necessary to expand access to schooling, increase incomes by achieving greater opportunities for employment and earnings for adult workers, and change attitudes towards child labor on the part of the whole society, and at the same time observe the laws regulating its use.


Tropical Africa, North Africa, child labor, traditional education, large African family, child socialization, fertility theory, migration processes, gender differentiation of child labor.




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