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Family Law, Family Ideology and Multiculturalism in South Africa

Susan C. Ziehl
African Sociological Review / Revue Africaine de Sociologie
Vol. 1, No. 2 (1997), pp. 41-59
Published by: CODESRIA
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24487364
Page Count: 19
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Family Law, Family Ideology and Multiculturalism in South Africa
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Abstract

Given the recent political changes in South Africa, family law in this country is under pressure to transform itself in ways consistent with democratic principles and in particular the principle of equity. What this means in practical terms is at this stage unclear. The main purpose of this article to the sketch the background to debates around this issue by describing and commenting on the existing laws relating to marriage and the family. It also attempts to highlight the conception of the family and the way in which different conceptions of the family have been used by law-makers to date. The legal position of fathers of extra-marital children, polygyny and some proposals for reform are also discussed. La transition à la démocratie en Afrique du Sud demande que les lois de marriage and de la famille changent d'une façon correspondante et en particulier, reflètent le principe d'égalité. A ce moment les manifestations pratiques de ces changements ne sont pas du tout évidentes. En décrivant et discutant les lois qui sont (actuellement) en place, cet article vise à offrir un cadre pour les debats concernant les changements qui pouvaient suivre. En plus, l'article tente à exposer la notion de la famille et les différentes façons dont différentes notions de la famille ont été employées par les législateurs dès lors. La position légale des pères non-marié, la polygamie et quelques propositions de reformes sont aussi traitées.

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