Negotiating Love and Marriage in Contemporary Senegal: A Good Man Is Hard to Find Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2015 African Studies Association. In Senegal, love, respect, and compatibility have historically figured into marital calculations, yet prospective husbands must also provide material support. After decades of stagnant economic growth, good providers are hard to find. In this article we examine two strategies that women employ in an attempt to achieve economic security: nonmarital sex and transnational marriage. Though recent anthropological literature proposes a global transition toward companionate marriage, evidence from Dakar suggests that Senegalese women are prioritizing short-term material gain over longer-term projects of social reproduction. Transnational marriage and nonmarital sexual relationships illuminate women's new strategies to stabilize their social positions in increasingly precarious times.

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Hannaford, D., & Foley, E. E.

citation count

  • 10

publication date

  • September 2015