Home Institution

Southwestern University

Publication Date

Spring 2007

Program Name

Senegal: Arts and Culture


My research studies the concept of family in Senegalese culture by examining family values and their place within families in an orphanage setting. I studied two orphanages in Senegal both run by the international organization SOS Village d’Enfants, one in Dakar and one in Kaolack. I spent a week in each orphanage doing participant observation and conducting interviews with the mothers of the homes in the orphanage. I also conducted other interviews to find out how the orphanage is run and to better understand the concept of family in Senegal from a religious perspective. I found out the importance of family in Senegalese culture and how the values of teranga, mbokk, and njaboot are the basis of the construction of the Senegalese concept of family.


Family, Life Course, and Society


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