What Are the Effects of Cultural Traditions on the Education of Women? (The Study of the Tumbuka People of Zambia)

What Are the Effects of Cultural Traditions on the Education of Women? (The Study of the Tumbuka People of Zambia)

eBook - 2014
Rate this:
Cultural traditions do adversely affect the education of many people in the world. Women are, unfortunately, the most affected victims of their culture. This book demonstrates how cultural traditions can militate against the education of women in Zambia with a focus on the Tumbuka tribe. The evidence at hand demonstrates that patrilineal groupings are strongholds of the patriarchal predisposition and patriarchal attitudes and cultural traditions do not recognize women as equal partners with men. The Tumbuka women's experiences and beliefs reflect socio-cultural traditional norms that tend to limit gender equality, and compel women to accept and justify male domination at the expense of their own status and to regard consequent inequalities as normal. Evidence demonstrates that the initiation rites, an active institution for girls of pubescent age, interfere more with the school-based education of girls. The women are active social agents as well as passive learners who will not allow the girls they are coaching to question the purpose for some traditional practices that are oppressive and directly cause them to fail to complete their schooling successfully.   Auszug aus dem Text Text sample: Chapter 4. 3, Implications of the Cultural Traditions: The traditions of a given society are well guarded and the processes through which the traditions are transmitted or handed down are so many. These include initiation rites and socialisation through the parents especially the mother, 'aunt,' the grandmother and the traditional teachers. This is mainly orally done although it may include simulations, imitations, and the use of symbols, singing and dancing. The established customs of a given society govern the social behaviour of the people hence one would be saved much mortification, pain and ill repute by upholding them (Draisma and Kruzinga, 2004). This
section will discuss the process through which the Tumbuka tribe transfer information to their young ones: the main focus being the initiation ceremony and the process of socialisation. A discussion on the Zambian culture will be done to show how that similarities do exist in the culture practiced by many tribes in the country with slight variations which distinctly identify one tribe from another. This will start with a brief discussion of cultural traditions in order to give clear understanding of the terminology. A brief discussion on this subject may be found in chapter 1. This will equally introduce the process of socialisation. 1., Zambian Cultural Traditions: In this research, cultural traditions will include customs, beliefs and values of the Tumbuka speaking people that shape each member's life from birth. The category of culture referred to in this research will include both societal and tribal culture. Grunlan and Mayers define culture as 'That complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, laws, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society" (Grunlan and Mayers, 1988, p.39). Culture could simply be defined as the personality of a given society; it shapes, informs, defines and describes the people and their learned and shared attitudes, values, and behaviours. Anthropologists call the learning process 'enculturation.' Segall et al state that 'enculturation denotes the engagement of persons in their culture; the term also serves well as a generic label for all human learning, encompassing socialization as well" (Segall et al., 1990, p.25). Although enculturation or socialisation may differ from society to society, the shared norms, values and practices constitute the culture, which in turn forms the basis of interaction. People belonging to the same culture may interpret the world in
roughly the same ways; express themselves, their thoughts and feelings about the world in ways which would be understood by each other (Barker, 2003). There is an issue of identity here which, Appel and Muyskin (1992) interpret that cultural identity as one's loyalty to the legacy of collectivity which is inherited from earlier generations. Each cultural grouping has its own prominent features and diverse culturally-specific aspects that give members their distinct characteristics as they access the elements of their ethnic group. In place is the social control system that guides the enforcement of all the norms. The norms which are the 'shared standards of the conduct" of the members control their behaviours (Segall et al., 1990, p.6). Individual members have roles which are expected of them depending upon the position held. These expectations can be compelling or obligatory to the point of controlling an individual's behaviour. The 'folkways' are conventional practices while the 'mores' are obligatory" as they are necessary for the maintenance of the social order and these can be deeply significant to the members (Segall et al., 1990, p.7). Stephen (1998), in much the same way as Grunlan and Mayers (1988), expresses culture as knowledge. Culture is a system of shared accumulated facts by members of a given society, which are conceptions, regulations and meanings articulated in much the same way by the members (Stephen 1998). Thwaites et al and Cush suggest that culture is the collection of shared practices whose significance is fashioned, disseminated, reinforced and encouraged among the members. It is constantly changing, internally diverse and challenged, influenced by and influencing other cultures (Cush, 2004; Thwaites et al., 1994). This could be true of the Tumbuka culture which could be changed with time. This can be observed in the urban
areas where due to interactions with other ethnic groupings some tribes have changed their customs. Generally speaking, throughout Zambia, and in all its ethnic groupings, cultural traditions continue to relegate women to inferior roles. Such traditions tend to be obligatory for the women expecting them to strictly follow the traditions if she is to live happily in the society. Although cultural traditions that apply to women may take different forms within the different ethnic groupings, by and large, there exist a lot of similarities. Long-standing customs, beliefs and values are mainly handed down orally from one generation to another through the process of socialisation. These beliefs can be described as how reality and events are explained by members of a given society, and what is regarded as true and what is not, while values distinguish one society from another. The behaviour of the members is the visible part that betrays the things that are believed or felt that others do not see (Garforth, 1985; Taylor, 2006).   Biographische Informationen 'The neglected education of my fellow women is the grand source of the misery I deplore.' (Mary Wollstonecraft). With a PhD in Education whose focus was on the education of women, the author seeks to continue writing on the education of women. The author comes from a similar ethnic grouping, in some ways, as the Tumbukas, but was lucky to have an educated father who gave her a chance to get educated and who supports her until today. As a secondary school teacher, the author served as a national chairperson for the Home Economics Association of Zambia for 3 years. During that time she travelled the country and came across more and more evidence of how much girls were deprived of the empowerment that comes along with education, because of traditions that restricted, or stopped them altogether from
attending school.
Publisher: Hamburg : Diplomica Verlag, 2014
Edition: 1st ed
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9783954895977
Branch Call Number: Electronic book
Characteristics: 1 online resource (291 pages)
Additional Contributors: ProQuest (Firm)


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at MCL

To Top