The initial migration of miners to mineral excavation sites outside of their home areas followed by successive moves to other mining sites raises several issues for family formation. Based on quantitative and qualitative data collection of miners and women living in mining settlements, this chapter discusses the dynamics of associational ties, sexual union and the raising of children in situations of flux. It is argued that marital ties, in the sense that prevailed in relatively stable agrarian communities, have been superseded by the complexity of different conjugal relations sometimes evidencing an 'anchor wife' alongside a prevailing tendency for serial marriage arising from locational movement to different mining sites. Analysis of patterns of miners' remittances to their families, savings and locational siting of house building investments, and children's childcare and schooling to provide a picture of the directions in which family life is moving. Women's attitudes to one another, to the threat of HIV/AIDS and to business opportunities in the tertiary sector are discussed in relation to changing family patterns.
Bryceson, D.F.; Jønsson, J.B.; Verbrugge, H. Loosely woven love: Sexuality and wifestyles in gold-mining settlements. In: Mining and social transformation in Africa: Mineralizing and democratizing trends in artisanal production. Routledge, Abingdon, UK (2014) 61-78. ISBN 9780415833707