PATRIARCHY AND SOCIALIZATION IN CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE’S PURPLE HIBISCUS AND JAMAICA KINCAID’S LUCY

Asante Lucy Mtenje

Abstract


Patriarchal culture is institutionalized through rigorous socialization processes in which every member of the community is aware of what “appropriate” duties, responsibilities and roles are expected from them for the sustenance of family and communal harmony (Wamue-Nagare et. al, 2011).The term “socialization”, as used in this paper, is understood as “the process by which society’s values and norms, including those pertaining to gender, are taught and learned” (Renzetti & Curran, 1989, p.61). This paper sets out to examine the process of socialization and its implications for identity formation in the two novels. It further considers socialization as a critical means by which societies formulate and preserve their cultures and identities. Finally, the paper looks at the manifestation of negative socialization through the passing on of societal values which disempower the agents as well as the recipients. I argue that Chimamanda Adichie in Purple Hibiscus (2005) and Jamaica Kincaid in Lucy (1990) portray patriarchy as having an influence on the way mothers socialize their daughters. The authors further portray this type of socialization as not only disempowering to the women as mothers but also to their daughters’ social development. However, the daughters eventually exercise agency by resisting and subverting the constraints of such type of socialization.

 

Keywords: Patriarchy, Socialization, Identity, Gender


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