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Steadying the Hands That Rock the Cradle: Exploring the Roles of African Grandmothers in the Stability and Sustenance of Diasporic African Families

February 4, 2019 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

The presentation explores how the nuclearization, therefore atomization of the family system in North America, as an off-shoot of individualism presents as a serious attenuation of support systems ordinarily. This finding portends even more challenges for Diasporic families, especially those from Africa, which social carpets have been ripped from under their feet owing to migration. Migration conveys stress-laden concomitants for Diasporic entities, which must, among other integration rites of passage, enter the labor force, adjust to the norms and mores of the new culture, balance their socialization and parenting repertoire with the conflicting types decreed by their host country, including endure revision of gender roles. Pertinently, it explores how African grandmothers as an often gender discountenanced social capital and support system, paradoxically attenuates spousal conflicts, including violence, impart culture relevant socialization to the grandchildren and assist to forge and maintain family homeostasis.

About the speaker

Dr. Buster Ogbuagu has worked as a radio broadcaster, high school teacher, social worker in child protection, juvenile justice, as well as a clinical practitioner in polysubstance dependence and concurrent disorder, and as a new émigré to Canada, he worked as an office cleaner. Dr. Ogbuagu holds a BSc. [Hons] in Sociology & Anthropology from the University of Nigeria. He also earned a BSW, MSW and PhD from McGill University. Philosophically, he is passionate about intersectionalities and anti-oppressive epistemologies to social work practice, which underscore and inform his teaching and practice. As a Diasporic Transnationalist, his current and ongoing research and professional interests include, but are not limited to Social Policy/Welfare, Ethics, Race, Anti-racist/Anti-Oppression, Minority & Gender Issues, Multiculturalism, Refugees, Refugee/Resettlement/Transnational migration, Community Organizing and Advocacy; Child Protection; Mental Health, including Addictions and Disability. Dr. Ogbuagu has documented some of his many lived experiences in several published journal articles and books.


February 4, 2019
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


In Person
Balsillie School of International Affairs, 67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2 Canada
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(226) 772-3001
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