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Somalis AbroadClan and Everyday Life in Finland$
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Stephanie R. Bjork

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040931

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040931.001.0001

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(p.103) Chapter 4 Celebration
Somalis Abroad

Stephanie R. Bjork

University of Illinois Press

This chapter reveals that Somali women perform clan in gender-specific ways. Aroosyo (weddings), communitywide events for Somalis, are key sites for legitimizing clan claims and integrating kin through exchange of capital. During these rites of integration, women perform and honor their clans publicly by displaying their clan competence. Because clan is a sensitive if not taboo topic for public discourse, tensions among clans may arise in response to efforts to establish clan hegemony. Sites of integration also become sites of resistance. Some women may use the public event to initiate horizontal links between clans. At the same time, weddings hone a shared sense of being Somali. The chapter also explores spousal preference, marriage taboos, wedding videos, and nikaax (engagement).

Keywords:   gender, weddings, clan competence, clan hegemony, spousal preference, marriage taboos, wedding videos, engagement

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