Changing Patterns of Marriage Courtship among the Hausas: The Case of Emerging Role of Marriage Brokerage in Contemporary Kano Metropolis
This paper describes a number of significant alterations in the patterns of courtship among the Hausas of Northern Nigeria with specific reference to contemporary Kano Metropolis identifying some attending consequences. These changes affect personal choice preference in spouse selection, power of parents and relatives, the role of agency of marriage brokerage, the demands of the dating parties, and the expectations of the spouses prior and during courtships and marriages. The results of the changes are both positive and negative. On the one hand, the changes have opened avenues for match-makers popularly known as “Masu Dalilin Aure;” expanded the markets of mobile telecommunications industries; and increased the social capital of those in the communication business. On the other hand, there has been a decline in the role of parents as primary socializing agents; a disruption in the family ethos; high rates of divorce rates; increase in the number of unwanted pregnancies, abortions and throw-away children; and a rise in reported cases of delinquent behaviors. The paper posits that comprehensive studies that will explore the cost and benefit analyses of the institution of marriage brokerage need to be conducted in order to have a nuanced understanding of the phenomenon, as well as the trajectories of its dynamics.
Keywords: Courtship, Marriage Brokerage, Dalilin Aure, Social Change
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