The ties that bind: Social networks of men and women in Kipsigis community of Kenya
MetadataShow full item record
The authors explore the cultural meanings of daily routines of men and women's social networks in a rural Kipsigis community of western Kenya. The study was carried during fieldwork research, and used methods from social network analysis. The authors conducted interviews on men and women about their interaction with members of the same-sex. In order to understand the basis of meaningful relations in a community, the authors borrowed from social-network methodologies and used a multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis. Due to gender division of labour women and men have different daily activities. Women formed groups based on direct reciprocity. Women help each other in the field and at home, during pregnancy and birth, but also during celebrations. Women who trade in maize meet each while travelling on their ways to the markets, or when doing the grinding work for others. Results show that networks are based on mutual helping relationships, and not based on kinship, clan, or age.