Socio-cultural influences on the mother-and-daughter-in-law relationship within a South African context

Tebogo Rosina Nganase, Wilna Basson


This study explored the socio-cultural influences on the black mothers- and daughters-in-law within Pretoria North, South Africa. The two theoretical paradigms that provided perspectives on the influence of socio-cultural aspects were Family Systems Theory and Social Constructionism. A qualitative approach allowed the researcher to attain data from interviews with 40 participants who had been involved in a mother-daughter-in-law relationship for at least six months. Phenomenological design was employed to guide the research process. Textual data was analysed through interpretative phenomenological analysis. Eight themes emerged from the analysis; cultural influences, traditional practices of marrying a makoti, influence of ethnicity, influence of societal ideologies, influence of religion, influence of education, impact of geographical distance, as well as influence of finance.  Recommendations are also provided in order to further assist in exploring the impact of socio-cultural aspects on the mother-daughter-in-law relationship. Therefore, the study is valuable as it paves the way for further studies relating to the topic within the South African context.


family systems theory; in-law; interpretative phenomenological analysis; makoti; mamazala; phenomenology; social constructionism

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