Department of Sociology

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    Family Business Succession Practices In The Textile Industry: A Study Of Cloth Merchants At The Makola And Kumasi Central Markets
    (University of Ghana, 2020-10) Adom-Oduro, J.
    Family business is one of the engines that drive social and economic development as well as wealth creation. However, one such growth agenda is succession planning which requires that business of cloth merchants grow over time from one generation to another. A family enterprise’s continued existence in diverse ways depends on the support from kin and non-kin groups. The study explored family business succession planning practices relating to motivations of cloth traders, succession pathways, knowledge transfer, training needs and factors that facilitate or militate against business owner's succession strategies in the textile industry. Overall, cloth traders’ succession practices in local textile markets constitute a phenomenon that requires social consideration. The study employed sequential mixed method research approach. Data was collected using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative data was collected through key informant interviews, non-participant observation and informal discussions whereas quantitative data was gathered from cloth traders with interviewer questionnaire. A total of twenty-six (26) key informant participants and three hundred and fifty (350) respondents took part in the study. Moreover, secondary data was obtained from relevant documents. The study areas are Makola and Kumasi central markets while cloth traders represent the subjects of the study. Thematic network analysis was used to analyse the qualitative aspect of the study, while quantitative data were analysed by using SPSS. The analytical framework underlining the study was rational choice theory. Rational choice theory was chosen because it explains and weighs various alternative actions of costs and benefits in decision making. The theory unearthed how alternative calculations done during social interaction and its role in the formation of stable social order to avoid difficult decisions in relation to family business succession planning. The theory helps the actor to evaluate whether decision making actions are consistent with the choices of cloth traders. These alternative sources of decisions assist the owner to work as well as achieve set goals. The findings suggest that cloth traders’ succession planning practices are motivated by major and minor triggers of business continuity, uncertainty in life and avoidance of conflicts among conflicts. The basis for succession planning and choice of possible successor is guided by rational decision-making process. The study revealed that cloth traders are more likely to select daughters and sons to groom as successors against extended family members and acquaintances. The study identified diverse succession planning pathways through early childhood preparation, formal education, and non-schooling family members. The study revealed that cloth trading knowledge is transferred from owner to successor. Coaching practices are carried out mainly through on-the-job training, verbal communication, and family discussions. Both intra family and non-family members facilitates succession process with commitment to planning, support from husband, extended family members, reliable customers, suppliers, and stable economic activities. On the contrary, poor family bonds, unwillingness to take part in family business, slow adaptation during successor training, appointment of non-family members and poor business performance may derail succession process. The study recommends practical guidelines for cloth merchants on successful succession planning. Though exploratory, the findings could serve as the basis for further academic studies on succession practices for entrepreneurs and different cluster of market traders. Some of such future research areas of succession planning practices in Ghana have been identified
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    The Centre For Plant Medicine Research And The Dynamics Of Traditional Medicine In Ghana
    (University of Ghana, 2020-10) Ntewusu, D.A.
    With the increasing demand for evidence-based practise, quality research is crucial to inform decision-making in traditional medicine practices. Therefore, there has been a growing corpus of knowledge on the establishment and functions of traditional medicine research Centres across the globe. However, the available scholarship has concentrated more on Asia, and other parts of the world, than on Africa, including Ghana. This study, therefore, set out to examine how the Centre for Plant Medicine Research, located at Mampong - Akuapem in the Eastern Region of Ghana, has contributed to the national trajectory of traditional medicine development and practice. In furtherance of the main objective, the study specifically focused on: providing an assessment of the origin, organisational structure, management, and functions/ activities of the Centre and how these have changed over time; examining the changing state policies on traditional medicine in Ghana and their implication for the mandate of the Centre; and interrogating the extent to which the Centre has influenced the development and practice of traditional medicine in Ghana. The qualitative method of social research was used with constructionist grounded theory driving data collection and analysis. Through purposive and theoretical sampling methods, participants were drawn from the Centre, clients of traditional medicine, practitioners of traditional medicine, Herbal Medicine Department at KNUST, Traditional and Alternative Medicine Directorate (TAM-D), Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), and people of Mampong. The theory of social change underpinned the study as it dealt with transformations in traditional medicine. The study has shown that the development of traditional medicine in Ghana is intertwined with the Centre’s establishment and evolution. As a state-owned institution, all the policies on traditional medicine in the country have found expression through its activities. From financing plant medicine research to the formulation of policies for traditional medicine development, the Centre has been actively involved and seen as driving the change. Consequently, its activities have led to significant transformations in the mode of providing traditional medicine in Ghana. Links with institutions and agencies such as the MOH, TAM-D, TMPC, FDA, WHO, and the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners, among others, enabled the Centre to provide services to the general public. It has also led to standardisation, training of practitioners, and many more, albeit criticisms that the ‘over scientification’ in the practice of traditional medicine initiated by the Centre tends to marginalise the involvement of some healers. As the main game-changer in the industry, the Centre itself has gone through the change. It has evolved from learner to teacher in applying traditional medical knowledge in the context of modern science and technology (from ‘obi-kyerɛ to kyerɛ-obi’). Some practitioners have also transformed their practices through the Centre’s influence by adopting modern scientific processes in line with biomedical practice and technology. However, the transformation has not occurred uniformly across the country. Embedded in the change are continuities with the distant past. Based on this, the study duly categorised practitioners in Ghana into three as transformers, semi-transformers and non-transformed. Participants mentioned how healers in various communities, including some who have worked at the Centre, have contributed to research and given out recipes for product formulation without receiving any credit or recognition from the Centre/scientists. This development has engendered mixed feelings among practitioners leading to tensions and conflicts between the Centre and stakeholders. The social inequality between the two groups, aggravated by the over-concentration of scientific product development processes, fuels these tensions and conflicts. The fact that scientific achievements remain the exclusive preserve of scientists despite the evident contributions made by healers perpetuates conflicts between the two groups. This has adversely affected collaborations between the Centre, traditional healers, and communities. These issues show how the Centre reflects the struggle between healing knowledge in herbal lore and Western hegemonic knowledge in health care delivery.
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    Patterns Of Social Interactions in Ghanaian Transnational Families in the Context of Innovations in Information Communication Technologies
    (University of Ghana, 2020-10) Asenso-Agyemang, E.
    This study pays attention to how Ghanaian transnational families build and maintain close bonds over changing communication technologies. It highlights the tensions and conflicts that ensue and the broader pattern of the interactions given context-specific factors - gender relations among spouses, generational relationships among parents and children, migration induced class structure and the legal status of migrants. The objectives are situated in the relevance of socio-cultural context in patterning both technologies and transnational life. The constructivist grounded theory, which privileges the co-construction of research knowledge given the multiplicity of reality, situated in a processual context, was employed as the qualitative methodology for the study. Data was gathered through interviews, non-participant observation, and a review of relevant secondary data sources on YouTube and Facebook. Participants, located primarily in Ghana, were selected through snowballing, purposive, and theoretical sampling. The data gathered in Ghana were corroborated with insights gained from interactions among some Ghanaians in Vienna, Austria and Düsseldorf, Germany. Overall, sixty-one of them were interviewed across the study areas. The data were analysed using a thematic network analysis framework which proposes organising the themes from the data along three succeeding networks based on the degree of relationships. In making sense of the data, the study drew insights from multiple perspectives – 'transnational social fields', constituting families through systems of practices, and a synthesis of technological determinism and social construction of technology. The findings indicate that transnational families choose different ICT mediums to interact with each other depending on the type of care performed – material, non-material, and the fulfilment of various trusteeship obligations. How specific ICT mediums fulfil the care obligations produces 'high-end and low-end techno bonds' among transnational families. The bonds are also sustained by the exchange of remittances, where one's migration status determines the mediums through which they are exchanged. Migrants, mainly regular migrants, have greater leverage in determining which formal and informal remitting channels are used than non-migrants and irregular migrants. This observation reveals the economic privilege of migrants, even though not all migration projects results in economic advancement. Through their various usage of voice, video, and text-based mediums, several needs and obligations are met and thus emphasises that families can be functional even when they are not spatially bounded. One of those needs is managing their nostalgia, as the physically separated relation becomes emotionally close. However, the heightened emotional arousal caused by the proximity is further complemented with occasional visits and therefore provides the balance that sustains the transnational experience. The inability of irregular migrants to visit home adds to the precariousness of their transnational experiences. As transnational families use the various communication technologies, tensions and conflicts arise, which are patterned by the technological epoch and the nature of the kinship bond and hardly by one's legal migration status. Given the prohibitive cost of using the limited available technologies in the old technological epoch, the primary tension of transitional families was the sparsity of interactions. In the current epoch, the commonplace nature of communication technologies promotes surveillance and transnational freeloading. The nature of surveillance practices varies among different categories of kin. Therefore, it is pursued with varying interests, including rooting children in the homeland by parents, promoting the exclusivity of sexual rights among couples based on gendered cultural norms that put wives in the spotlight, and limiting the abuse of trusteeship obligations among extended relations. Lastly, the study found that the benefits and constraints of technologically mediated social interactions generate an overall, '…always on, but off…' pattern that underscores the ability of families to determine through their ICT mediated practices who counts as family and who doesn't. The study's findings affirm the literature on the Janus-faced experiences of ICT mediated social interactions among transnational families. Also, additional Ghanaian specific contextual factors, such as the prevalence of 'community surveillance' as against private surveillance reported in some context such as Senegal; and how the culture of indirection is elicited to manage the intrusion of current technologies provides new insights to the literature. The study provides recommendations based on the findings and conclusions.
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    The Transition from Juvenile Delinquency to Adulthood Criminality in Ghana; The Predisposing Factors
    (University of Ghana, 2014) Abrah, P.B.
    This study, the Transition from juvenile delinquency to adulthood criminality; The Predisposing factors sought to understand the transitions embedded in the offending trajectories of Ghanaian juvenile delinquents who were in their adulthood. Specifically, the study addresses four key research questions, namely how does the interplay of structural background factors and processes of informal social control mechanisms predispose individuals to crime in childhood? how does an individual experience of the criminal justice system reinforces and changes a criminal trajectory? How does labelling explain persistence and desistence from crime over the life course? how does an experience in multiple life domains modify the tendency to persist or desist from crime through adulthood? Using a qualitative research design, I explored the life history of 23 juvenile delinquents who have persisted and desisted from crime through adulthood and four stake holders. The overall findings suggest that the interplay of structural background factors and informal social control mechanisms may not necessarily predict the early onset of crime and delinquency in the Ghanaian social context due to socio-cultural and economic reasons. Also, the criminal justice had a differential impact on the juvenile delinquents; While for some it helped change their criminal careers, for others, it failed to help them desist. In adulthood, the finding suggests that friendship, quality employment, residential change, labelling and social support are critical elements which explain persistence or desistance from crime confirming the observations made by Sampson & Laub (1993) in relation to stable marriage and employment. The study further contradicts the orthodoxy of the perspective that suggests that deviant values are learnt in intimate groups Sutherland 1947) and also the theoretical underpinning of traditional labelling theories, in particular those of Becker (1963), Lemert (1951) and Tannenbaum (1938) that labeling per se does not explain persistence of crime as some of participants maneurered their delinquent status and desisted from crime.
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    The Rhetorics and Realities of Ghana’s Administrative Decentralization and Local Accountability
    (University of Ghana, 2017-07) Akotey, M.K.
    Long before decentralization became a buzzword and fashionable in some countries in the 1980s, Ghana’s search for, and attempts to take government closer to the people had been well noted and documented. In the late 1980s however, the Government of Ghana, initiated several legal and policy reforms that sought to bring climax to the long-standing dream of realizing a truly decentralized system. The new reforms establishes the Local Assemblies as the highest legislative, political and administrative authorities. After about three decades of implementing the new system, questions remain as to whether Ghana’s decentralization is an exercise of rhetorics or reality. The questions that the researcher explored included: What administrative capacity do the Assemblies possess to plan, make and implement decisions to fulfil their core mandate, and do they have the discretion to manage their staff in a way that could best serve the interests of the people? Other questions were: Do the Assemblies possess the financial capacity as well as the autonomy to effectively carry out their decentralized functions as specified and envisaged by policy? Were Departments of the Assemblies, including the sub-structures fully decentralized and performing their roles, responsibilities and functions as specified by law? Are the decisions in the Medium Term Development Plans, Budgets and other programmes of the Assemblies and decentralized departments those of the local people and their representatives? The final questions are: Are the Assemblies accountable to the people? What concerns do key actors, other than the government, have about the nation's administrative decentralization and local accountability programme? Focusing the studies on three Assemblies, the researcher applied the interpretive paradigm with the constructivist view of social reality and the case study approach of seeking knowledge from the natural settings of the Assemblies. Participants in the studies, who also constituted the key actors in the decentralized system included Presiding Members and elected Assembly members, Directors of sub metropolitan District Councils, and executives of Town, Area, Zonal and Urban Councils. The rest were executives of Unit Committees, Coordinating Directors, Development Planning Officers, Finance Officers, MMDCEs, Internal Auditors, Local Government Inspectors and Heads of Decentralized Departments. Using interview guides, focused group discussions and detached observation methods, the researcher collected qualitative data from respondents in their natural setting at their communities, Assembly meetings, and Unit Committee levels. The researcher found, among others that, after three decades of implementing the most current decentralization system of the country, some of the key departments of the Assemblies including education, youth and sports, health and agriculture were still operating as deconcentrated bodies with only little supervision by the Assembly over them. Also, with the exception of two of the three sub-metropolitan District Councils of the TMA, all the Town, Area, Zonal, Urban Councils and Unit Committees within the three case study districts were inactive. In addition, the study established that some of the projects and programmes contained in the development plans and budgets of the Assemblies could either not be implemented at all or lagged far behind schedule due to three main factors. These are the inability of the Assemblies to mobilize sufficient internal revenue, failure of the DACF Secretariat to release funds on time to the former and central government engaging in unsolicited procurement of goods and services for the Assemblies, which led to huge deductions from the DACF allocations meant for the Assemblies. In addition, the Assemblies were found to be unaccountable to even the local legislature, much less to the people as required by law. The researcher also found that although almost all the structures within the Assemblies such as the General Assembly, Sub-committees and the Executive Committees were in existence , most of the important decisions of the Assemblies were taken by the local executive under the direction of central government bodies and the ruling political party. The researcher has described the prevailing situation at the Assemblies, among others, as local centralization, a phenomenon that was possible largely with the active assistance by central government and the ruling political party for the purpose of protecting the subjective interests of government officials, party leaders and members as well as, of course, the local executives. The researcher concludes, inter alia, that Ghana’s decentralization in its current form is an exercise more of rhetorics than real since there is considerable gap between the existing policies and actual practice. To address the current challenges and also close the gap between policy and practice, the researcher recommends, among others, that the constitutional provisions which mandate the President of the Republic to appoint Chief Executives for MMDA’s should be amended to make room for popular election of MMDAs. Similarly, the researcher recommends that the appointment of 30% government appointees to the Assemblies must also be stopped.
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    Understanding Consensual Unions as a Form of Family Formation in Urban Accra
    (University of Ghana, 2018-07) Obeng-Hinneh, R.
    Consensual unions as an alternative form of family formation is a growing phenomenon in especially urban centres in Africa, including Ghana. This qualitative study was aimed at exploring the lived experiences of persons in consensual unions. The research was conducted in the urban space of Accra and the target population was all persons who at the time of the study were in consensual unions. With the use of purposive sampling technique, a total of thirty-one participants were selected for the study. The life history interviewing approach was used in primary data collection. The data was organised and analysed by doing a thematic network analysis. Further analyses were done with secondary data obtained from journals, books, newspapers, and related websites. It was revealed in the study that there is a gendered experience of consensual unions. For female research participants their unions served the purposes of livelihood strategy, an escape route, an avenue for intimate relations and a way of rehearsing for marriage. Male participants, entry into their union was primarily a mark of their maturity and masculinity. Whilst women mostly conceptualised their unions as a precursor to marriage, their partners were more likely to conceptualise it as an alternative to marriage. These different realities translated into the lived experiences of persons in such unions. The experiences include, pressures from the family, church, friends and neighbours to convert the unions into marriage, intimate partner violence and sanctions from extended kin. The study showed that based on these experiences, persons in consensual unions accordingly devised management strategies. The contribution of this thesis to knowledge is that it has shown the gendered conceptualisation of consensual unions either as a precursor or an alternative to marriage and the everyday experiences of persons in these unions.
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    Reading the Mind of the Spirits: Divination and Health Seeking Behaviour among the Dagomba in the Northern Region of Ghana
    (University of Ghana, 2017-11) Abukari, S.
    Finding explanation for the causes of ill-health and other misfortunes has been and continues to agitate the human mind. Among the Dagomba of the Northern Region of Ghana, consulting diviners for virtually every situation, good or bad, makes diviners ’critical actors in the health-seeking behaviour of the people. This study explored the significance of divination in the health-seeking behaviour among the Dagomba. Specifically, the study was guided by the following objectives: (i) To describe the practice of divination and how it affects health decision-making; (ii) To examine reasons why a sick Dagomba will shop for the services of both a diviner and an orthodox medical practitioner; (iii)To examine gender relations and its consequences in the practices of divination; and (iv) To describe the circumstances under which divination is employed. The study design was descriptive and qualitative methods of data collection were employed. In-depth interviews were held with thirteen diviners, nine health professionals, three patients of diviners, and the chief diviner and chief custodian of Dagbon culture. Thirteen focus group discussions were held with men and women groups. Observations were also used to complement the data collected. Both the IDIs and FGDs were recorded and transcribed into English language. Themes were developed based on key issues resulting from the data. The data was analysed using NVIVO 10 software. The findings of the study are that: Divination was used to distinguish between illnesses of supernatural origin and illnesses described as normal or natural so that appropriate therapy could be sought for patients • Patients and their relatives sometimes combined diviner and modern services at the same time. This is premised on the belief that some illnesses have both spiritual and physical aspects and as such they need both therapeutic regimen. • Women were not permitted to consult diviners because of patriarchy and the alleged nature of woman. However, generally, women were also not permitted to practice divination for fear of being branded witches. • Various types of divination practices were identified among the Dagomba. These included soothsaying; sand-reading; occultism; and clairvoyance In addition the study revealed that agents such as witchcraft, old customs, ancestral spirits and nature spirits were responsible for the causes of most illnesses.. In conclusion, this study has documented the role divination plays in the daily life of the Dagomba. The study also articulates the importance of diviners in the health-seeking behaviour of the Dagomba and calls for consideration of the role of divination and diviners in the entire health architecture of the Dagomba.
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    Disability and Stigma: Interrogating Middle-Class Experiences in the Social Spaces of Ghana.
    (University of Ghana, 2017-07) Ocran, J.
    Persons with disability continue to experience stigma which often leads to marginalisation and discrimination, despite the introduction of several legal and policy interventions intended to correct that. These stigmatising experiences have been documented and are well known. However, the known experiences are often from persons who are economically and socially dependent on others for their sustenance. This sometimes makes it seem that persons with disability are an oppressed aggregate of people who all need society‘s assistance to enable them escape their vulnerabilities that the stigma of disability produces. In this study, I sought to disaggregate persons with disabilities on the basis of social class by examining the stigmatising experiences of middle-class persons with disability who are largely absent from the literature in developing countries such as Ghana. Using the hermeneutic phenomenological approach, I sought to find out how middle-class persons with disabilities understand and explain the stigma of disability; what restricts them in the performance of their social roles and activities and how they manage their identities in the presence of the stigma. I conducted 16 in-depth interviews with middle-class persons with disabilities, made up of 11 men and 5 women. I found out that there are hierarchies within the middle-class persons with disabilities. These hierarchies relate to the time of acquisition of the impairment, the family into which one was born and the support received from them as well as the situational factors of interaction. Though they are all middle-class, the resources available to some in their resistance to stigma are not available to others. I also found out that under the influence of the usual stereotypes of disability, middle-class persons with disability are often assumed to be physically, intellectually and financially incompetent. Also, some social institutions that admit middle-class persons with disabilities also stigmatise them because of their disabilities. Middle-class persons with disabilities are admitted into such institutions but are not given complete access to the institutions‘ opportunities and resources. It also emerged that middle-class persons with disabilities utilise various processes of rationalisation and identity management to reconstruct positive identities of themselves over disabilities‘ hurtful identities, as a way of avoiding the negativities that the stigma of disability creates. I recommend that social systems of organisations and institutions within which persons with disabilities may be found are studied in order that institutional arrangements that support and/or oppose the integration of persons with disabilities will be known. The opposing structures can be dismantled and the supporting structures can be strengthened and replicated elsewhere. Since persons with disabilities are not an aggregate, I recommend that interventions for their inclusion are amended to reflect the nuances of the many social identities that are created by situational and personal factors. A one size fits all approach will not be very useful.
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    The Interface between the Health Professionals and Lay Caregivers at the Koforidua Central Hospital in the Eastern Region of Ghana
    (University of Ghana, 2017-07) Agbenyefia, G.
    In Ghana as in many developing countries, the quest to provide quality professional health care for patients in the hospital is confronted with many challenges. However, the challenges are evidently articulated in the ward where all the medical challenges coalesce. In Ghana, beside other medical challenges, shortage of professional staff is a great barrier to providing quality patient care. The desire to fill this professional lacuna has, by default, resulted in the use of lay caregivers to provide medical care needs for in-patients. Globally, both developed and developing countries use lay caregivers but in different respects. Lay involvement in health care delivery is believed to add emotional value to the patient‟s therapeutic process. As a result, much has been written on the contributions of lay caregivers in the home, hospice, home for the aged and hospitals. In spite of the usefulness of lay caregiving in the hospital environment, not much is documented on the extent to which lay caregivers go and how they negotiate their roles with the health professionals in the hospital context. Ghana is one sub-Sahara African country that depends heavily on lay caregivers in the hospital due to inadequate health professionals. In spite of this, there are no clear policies on lay caregivers and neither are their services officially recognised. This hospital ethnographic study, therefore, explored the factors that influence lay caregiving in the hospital environment, the extent to which this is carried out in the therapeutic process and how lay caregivers negotiate their roles with health professionals within the hospital context in a Ghanaian public regional hospital. The study involved interviews with patients in a medical ward, nurses, doctors and lay caregivers. In all, 32 lay caregivers and 12 in-patients were interviewed. Eight (8) key informants made up of six nurses and two medical officers (doctors) were also interviewed. The study revealed that lay caregivers‟ involvement in care is influenced by institutional, socio-cultural and other situational factors. Institutionally, shortage of staff and negative attitude of some health professionals were the main influencing factors. Socio-cultural factors such as the demands of primordial ties - reciprocity and kinship moral obligation were outstanding. Other significant situational factors include the severity of a patient‟s condition, (eg non-ambulatory condition and incontinence) and mistrust of professional health care providers. Negotiation between health professionals and lay caregivers is influenced by a compromise based on win-win approach. The study concluded that although health care providers and lay caregivers appreciate the rationality of the irrational situation, both parties were satisfied in the end: in the face of severe staff shortage, health professionals are assisted to provide care to the sick while lay caregivers derive emotional satisfaction from carrying out their moral responsibility to their sick relations who may not receive love and tender care from health professionals. It is recommended that as a short term measure, the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Ghana Health Service should formulate policies that create room for lay caregivers‟ involvement in provision of care for in-patients in the hospital. However, to get a permanent solution to provision of quality professional care for patients, there is the need for government to recruit more health personnel to reduce the workload on the few working in the wards. Logistics such as modern BP apparatus, pulse oximeter, sophisticated laboratory and x-ray equipment and adequate drugs should be supplied to the hospitals to make professional work very effective and to reduce reliance on lay caregivers.
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    Local Perceptions and Management of Diabetes and Hypertension in Shai-Osudoku District of Ghana
    (University Of Ghana, 2017-10) Amponsah, M.K.
    The general objective of the study was to analyse people’s perceptions and management of diabetes and hypertension in some rural communities of Ghana. In conducting the research, qualitative method was mainly used to elicit information from the selected communities through semi-structured questionnaire from the selected communities (N340) and twenty (N20) diabetics/hypertensives patients from the diabetics and hypertensive association in the district for in-depth interviews. The study found that majority of the respondents and participants identified the media as the main source of their information about diabetes and hypertension. Further, the study revealed that the majority of the respondents use popular knowledge of tasting their urine and ants gathering around their urine as signs and symptoms of diabetes. The study also found that respondents’ understanding of diabetes and hypertension was mainly base on the local names of these diseases which is strongly tied to their perceived causes. The main challenges and problems of the diabetic and hypertensive include regular medications, change of lifestyle as well as stigmatization. Based on the findings, recommendations have been made to reduce the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension in the district and the country as a whole. It is recommended that Ghana Health Service (Shai-Osudoku district) in collaboration with National Media Commission to regulate all diabetes and hypertension programmes in the media, including advertisements on these diseases to ensure that the right information are given to the general public. Furthermore, it is recommended for the Ministry of Health to intensify its Regenerative Health and Nutrition (RHN) programme that aims to empower communities to adopt healthy lifestyles in Ghana. It is also recommended that, the health promotion efforts by the GHS on behavioural risk factors (smoking, excess consumption of alcohol, etc.) should not be limited to only urban centers but extended to the rural communities.
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    Home Away from Home: The Emerging Forms of Aged Care in the Urban Centres of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana
    (University Of Ghana, 2018-08) Kwabena – Adade, J.
    Globally, population ageing is occurring at a period when the extended family support system which has been a safe haven for the Ghanaian aged is fast eroding as a result of the impact of social change. The increasingly failing domiciliary eldercare is making way for residential non-domiciliary eldercare in the urban centres of Accra. This study is a contribution to the growing literature on aged care in Ghana with a focus on the activities of residential aged care facilities and how the phenomenon is being rationalized by families patronising them. The objectives for this study were as follows: first, to identify the different types of systems of care currently available in the urban centres established to meet the care needs of the elderly people; second, to explore the kinds of activities of care provided by the residential aged care facilities to the elderly who access them; third, to describe the circumstances under which the aged are admitted into the residential aged care facilities; fourth, to find out how the elderly accessing these facilities make sense of the decisions made to delegate their care to residential aged care facilities; and finally, to examine how the family members of the elderly accessing the non-domiciliary systems of care evaluate the decision they have made to delegate the care of their aged persons to a formal institution. This study adopted a qualitative mixed methods approach. Fifteen elderly persons at two residential aged care facilities comprising of twelve females and three males were purposively selected and interviewed. Other key informants were six family members of the residents, two administrators, two facility operators, and six caregivers making a total of thirty-one interviews. In addition, observational notes were made of 57 field visits. The data was analysed using thematic network approach. Two types of care are available to the elderly in urban Accra. They are care within their usual dwelling places and care out of home. Eldercare out of home consist of non-residential nd residential aged care facilities. The residential aged care facilities are owned by individuals who have lived and worked abroad. The residential aged care facilities employ not more than six caregivers at any given time with majority of them being females. There are two types of caregivers at the facilities; trained caregivers who deliver direct acts of caring and untrained caregivers who act as support staff. The facilities operate a 24-hour service, seven days a week for the residents. They also operate an 8-hour routine five days a week for elderly persons accessing the facilities for recreational purposes. Between two to four elderly people share a room depending on the size. The daily activities of care mostly performed for the elderly are intimate and non-intimate technical, medical, and emotional care. The bulk of activities of care for the elderly is performed in the morning. Material care is provided by the family members of the elderly to ensure their continued support at the facility. The circumstances under which the elderly are admitted at the residential aged care facilities are varied but largely boils down to the elderly persons’ need for long-term technical and medical care, which cannot be sustained within the domiciliary context. The elderly persons had been admitted after they had suffered from complications associated with their chronic diseases. The four major medical conditions at the facilities were hypertension, stroke, diabetes and dementia. Majority of the elderly agreed to access the residential aged care facilities based on the negative circumstances they were facing accessing domiciliary care. Four mothers who were providing childcare to their grandchildren prior to their illness rejected the decision. The relationship that existed between them and their children has been characterized by generalised reciprocity whereby as parents, they looked after their children with expectations that their actions would generate gratitude and an open-ended, diffuse obligation for the children to return the gesture someday. However, when parents serve as caregivers for grandchildren, they then expect their gesture to be reciprocated in a balanced way. When the favour is not returned, it is viewed resentfully as negative reciprocity. Accessing the residential aged care facilities is associated with a sense of abandonment at three specific points: when the elderly were initially informed about the decision made, arrival at the facility and lastly when the elderly do not get visits or phone calls from family members. The presence and the availability of the facilities favour the career oriented middle aged adults who are responsible for addressing the care needs of their elderly persons. They end up enjoying a balanced life and the relative peace of mind needed, knowing that their elderly person’s achievement of activities of daily living (ADL) is not dependent on their physical presence to provide hands-on care or supervise the care provided for them. The benefits of accessing these facilities, comes at a cost which some are not able to sustain over a very long period, thereby withdrawing their elderly persons from the facilities. For those who can afford the costs, however, the traditional notions of care-giving are now replaced with care-managing and both parents and adult children are largely satisfied with this care arrangement. The study therefore recommends that the state prepares a document regarding the nature and basic tenets of an eldercare institution to guide the design of private initiatives. The Department of Social Welfare should assess the operations of these facilities periodically to ensure that they operate per the stipulated rules of engagement. It should also champion the cause of public education and the acceptance of residential aged care facilities in Ghana. The Government of Ghana should set up public residential aged care facilities for families who require out of home care for their elderly persons but cannot afford cost of private residential aged care facilities currently available in urban Accra.
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    Child Rights Promotion and Protection: The Department Of Social Welfare and Inter-Country Adoption in Ghana
    (University Of Ghana, 2018-01) Mawudoku, A.K.
    This study investigated the effectiveness of services delivered by the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) in inter-country adoption procedures. Qualitative research methods were employed and data were collected through in-depth interviews and documentary analysis. Twenty three participants were drawn from officers of the Department of Social Welfare, Judicial Service, adoption facilitators, biological parents of adopted children, and personnel from Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service. The findings suggest a lack of understanding of adoption by many Ghanaian parents. These parents equate adoption to foster care where children return to their biological families at maturity age. The research points to four categories of adopters who adopt children inter-country from Ghana. The children adopted include biological children, children of relatives, house helps; children surrendered by their parents, and abandoned children. The reasons for adoption range from the desire of childless couples to parent a child to circumventing visa procedures in the case of relatives to enable the adopter travel across borders with a child or children. In addition, the research found that, poor Ghanaian families are lured by adoption facilitators into terminating parental rights and placing their children for inter-country adoption. The findings indicate that Department of Social Welfare is failing to uphold child rights and sometimes aiding adoption facilitators to circumvent procedures. The Children’s Act, Act 560 of 1998 and the Adoption Rules, Constitutional Instrument 42, of 2003 are not elaborate on inter-country adoption making the regulations weak for the practice. Institutional strengthening and amendment of adoption laws in order to promote child welfare in inter-country adoption is recommended. Lastly, it is further recommended that a separate law and regulation be enacted for the inter-country adoption of children in Ghana.
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    Social Resilience Of Adolescent Girls To Sex, Teenage Pregnancy And Motherhood In Ghana
    (University of Ghana, 2014-12) Adu-Gyamfi, S.E.
    This study is about older adolescent girls and how they experience sex, cope with teenage pregnancy and early motherhood in Begoro, the district capital of Fanteakwa in the Eastern region of Ghana. Fanteakwa has one of the high teenage pregnancy rates (16%) in the country. The study investigated the socio-demographic background of adolescent girls in Begoro, the social context that influenced their sexual behaviour and experience, and how non-pregnant and ever-pregnant girls build resilience to sex, teenage pregnancy and motherhood. Guided by a social resilience framework, the study focuses on how older adolescent girls access resources within their social environment and how they utilize these resources to avoid, overcome and or adjust positively to the exigencies of sex, pregnancy and motherhood in Ghana. The study employs the mixed method approach, involving the simultaneous use of the quantitative and qualitative approaches. Starting with the collection of the quantitative data, a survey of five hundred adolescent girls (15-19 years) was conducted. This was followed by the qualitative approach where data were gathered through in-depth interviews with twenty adolescent girls purposively selected from the survey respondents. In-depth interviews were conducted with twelve adults (six males and six females), twenty adolescent girls and six adolescent boys in addition to two focus group discussions with eight boys in each group. The in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were held with adult and adolescent boys in the community to provide the community‟s perspective on adolescent girls‟ sexual experience. The findings indicate that adolescent girls live in a changing social environment, with the emergence of new agents of socialization in sexual and reproductive issues. Adolescent girls now live in a society where they have access to multiple sources of information to guide their sexual behaviour. Although community members do not openly accept it, the findings show that there is a gradual move from abstinence from sex, which is the expected sexual behaviour of girls in the community to the practice of abstinence to sex or the use of contraceptives in sexual activities. Thus, the social context influenced adolescent girls‟ exposure to risk as well as how they developed resilience in their sexual and reproductive experience. To maintain a good reputation, non-pregnant girls accessed social, economic and cultural capitals that helped them to avoid unprotected sex and teenage pregnancy. For the ever-pregnant girls, they also strived to have a good social reputation by using their access to social, economic and cultural capital to take care of their health and that of their babies, go back to school or learn a vocation. Hence, girls used their access to the other forms of capital to maintain a good reputation, which made them resilient in their sexual and reproductive experience. The study recommends that to help adolescents develop resilience to sex, teenage pregnancy and motherhood, more awareness must be created at the individual, family and community levels to propagate not only abstinence, but also the use of contraceptive pills and condoms by adolescent girls whenever they indulge in premarital sex. In addition, more studies should be focused on how to support adolescent boys to act responsibly when they engage in sexual relations with girls.
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    An Ethnographic Study of Sanitation and Defecatory Practices in Peri-Urban Communities: The Case of Prampram in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana
    (University Of Ghana, 2015-07) Ackun, L.A.
    This study sought to interrogate factors leading to the low patronage of improved sanitation facilities in peri-urban settings. The study’s main emphasis was on the Prampram community located in the Ningo-Prampram District of the Greater Accra Region in Ghana. A recent study by the Joint Monitoring Programme for water and sanitation (JMP) shows that, in Ghana, only 14% of the people have access to improved sanitation or decent toilet facilities. Ghana was graded 48th among 51 African countries in terms of meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MGD) target 7, which aimed at increasing (by half) the number of people who have access to improved sanitation by 2015. The study, therefore, interrogated issues in relation to socio-cultural practices, socio-economic lives of the various groups as well as their hygiene and sanitation practices that inform the people’s preferences for household toilets and how this translates into their uptake of sanitation. The study adopted an ethnographic approach and drew on data collected over a period of eight months to understand perceptions and preferences for various sanitation options in the Prampram community. The field work involved participant observation, informal conversation, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The study concluded that dirt, sanitation or hygiene can only be operationalized within a social context. It was observed that the study community’s perception of dirt as “matter out of place” as defined by Mary Douglas; their perceptions of smell and contagion; their concept of public and private spaces; and the socialization process that children go through contribute to their hygiene behaviours and sanitation practices.
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    Livelihood Strategies of Male- And Female-Headed Households in Greater Accra Region of Ghana
    (University of Ghana, 2015-12) Kpoor, A.; Fayorsey, C. K.; Okyerefo, M. P. K; Darkwah, A.; University of Ghana, College of Humanities, School of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology
    Over the past 15 years, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in its Ghana Living Standards Surveys (GLSS) has used the consumption expenditure approach and has concluded that female-headed households are better-off than male-headed ones. This conclusion is contrary to the general view that female-headed households are disadvantaged. The consumption expenditure approach has been criticised by scholars for being one-dimensional, as it covers only a limited aspect of male- and female-headed households’ living conditions. In view of this criticism, this study adopts the livelihoods approach - a multidimensional perspective - to capture the multidimensional nature of living conditions in male- and female-headed households in three communities - Adedenkpo, James Town Beach, and Adenkrebi - in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Specifically, the study investigates the community, human, social, and financial and economic assets of male- and female-headed households, and how they utilize these assets in their livelihood strategies. The study utilized the concurrent mixed methods approach entailing the use of both quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques. The study communities have different assets endowment and this affects the living conditions of of households. Adenkrebi is more endowed with natural assets than James Town Beach and Adedenkpo which aids households in Adenkrebi to diversify their livelihood activities. On the other hand, Adedenkpo and James Town Beach have more economic assets than Adenkrebi which allow households in these two communities to pursue their livelihood activities. The lack of economic assets such as motorable roads in Adenkrebi makes it difficult for the inhabitants to transport their farm produce to market centres. The findings of the study demonstrate that the livelihoods perspective reveals multiple dimensions of living conditions in male- and female-headed households. Male-headed households have greater human capital assets than female-headed ones; however, the low educational assets of both households confine their members to pursue informal livelihood activities as well as intensification and diversification strategies. The study also indicates that female-headed households have greater social assets than male-headed ones and utilize reciprocal exchange strategies to derive greater resources from CBOs, kin, and neighbours than their male counterparts. Male-headed households also have greater financial and economic assets than female-headed ones. Household income, generated through livelihood activities, is low for both types of households, particularly female-headed ones. However, among other household fiscal assets including savings, treasury bills, shares, and loans, household income is the key financial asset utilized by both household types to satisfy basic household needs. The application of the livelihoods approach in this study demonstrates that male-headed households generally have greater assets endowment and better livelihood outcomes than female-headed ones indicating that they are better-off than their female counterparts. This finding indicates that the consumption expenditure approach masks the deprivations of female-headed households in assets endowment. The study recommends that national surveys that measure the living standards of male- and female-headed households should include assets ownership and livelihoods dimensions in order to capture the multidimensional aspects of living conditions in these two types of households. Furthermore, to assist male- and female-headed households to achieve better livelihood outcomes, there is the need for sustainable natural resource measures to be taken in the study communities, particularly in James Town Beach to ensure that the sea continues to be a viable livelihood source for households. Furthermore, a community asset such as a tarred access road needs to be provided for households in Adenkrebi so that they can effectively pursue their livelihood activities. In addition, current government policies aimed at promoting formal education should be strengthened in the study communities so as to improve and widen the livelihood opportunities of particularly female-headed households in order to increase their asset portfolio. The study contributes to deepening understanding of living conditions of male- and female-headed households from a livelihoods perspective.
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    Workplace Safety and Accidents among Artisans at Kokompe - Accra, Ghana
    (University of Ghana, 2014-12) Appiah, S.O.
    Workplace safety and health is a crucial concern for all—wage earners, employers/management and the society as a whole. This is because workplace injuries and accidents have many ramifications on the life of the individual worker as well as others in society. Consequently, countries, as diverse as they are, have put in place mechanisms to ensure the safety of workers through several administrative, policy and legal instruments. Indeed, today the safety and health of workers is considered a global human rights issue. In spite of this, the informal sector that employed the majority of low skilled workers in developing economies is often neglected in most systematic studies. The informal sector has attracted less attention not only from government but also from academics, policy researchers and human rights advocacy groups. In the rare instances where studies are conducted, they tend to focus on productivity to the neglect of safety. In Ghana where the informal sector of the economy has outgrown the formal sector, as a consequence of the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) undertaken in the 1980s, and, the Highly Indebted but Poor Initiatives (HIPC) in the 2000s, have deregulated and liberalized the Ghanaian economy and resulted in shrinking the role of the state in job creation. Consequently, vehicle repairs and spare parts retail have become one of the common features of the informal economy since many middle-class workers rely on imported vehicles from Europe and the North America. In spite of the popularity of the vehicle repairs and spare parts business, the physical environment in which the artisans work, and their occupational health and safety (OHS) conditions are often absent from intellectual discourse regarding their business activities. As such, this study explored artisans’ experiences with occupational hazards and the coping strategies within their work environment. The study utilised the qualitative in-depth interview and observational methods to understand the general level of safety among the artisans at Kokompe in Accra. The artisans selected for the study included auto-mechanics, autoelectricians, auto-welders, auto sprayers and auto-spare parts dealers made up of master artisans, apprentices and other workers. In all 58 artisans were selected through convenience and snowballing sampling techniques. In addition, six key informants from state inspection agencies and other departments concerned with Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) in Ghana were interviewed. The study revealed that the general level of safety and working conditions among the artisans was poor as all processes—welding, spraying mechanical and other artisanal activities—were carried out at the same place often resulting in multiple exposures to different hazards and safety concerns. The predisposing factors leading to these were human, environmental and mechanical. However, most of the artisans attributed accidents and injuries to unforeseeable events or spiritual forces. Significantly, it was observed that the activities of the Department of Factories Inspectorate do not cover the operations of informal small-scale artisans. Among several recommendations, the study proposes the urgent need to incorporate basic occupational health and safety practices into the informal apprenticeship training sessions for the artisans. In addition, there is the urgent need to pass the National OHS Bill into law.
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    The Political Economy of Export Crops in Ghana: A Study of the Mango Industry
    (University of Ghana, 2015-07) Yidu, P.K.D
    The Ghana government in 1984 embarked on an economic recovery program where the country’s export crops were diversified and marketing liberalized. The diversification led to expansion in production and export of mango products. There has been a gap in ascertaining the impact of government agricultural policy on mango production and horticultural export crops promotion and agro-processing policy. Another gap is the limited literature on sociological contribution of commercial production of mango for export to agribusiness in Ghana. The current study which attempts to fill the vacuum examines the impact of government policy on allocation of productive resources to mango farmers, provision of extension services from multiple service sources as part of integration of mango farmers into the global market, impact of government policy on tax exemption on imported machinery, equipment and tax on profit of agro-processing companies in order to boost agro-processing industrialization in Ghana. The policies were assessed by looking at the social organization of mango production, investigation of integrating Ghanaian mango producers into the export market, and discussion of marketing mango under liberalized market and trade regime. As a study in political economy, the work examines Ghana’s export promotion policies and agricultural policy since the Fourth Republic in 1992. It also assesses the contribution of the mango industry to income of farmers, development of industries and the effect of the state’s agricultural policy on economic development. The study used dependency theory at the micro level of Ghana’s economy focusing on a dependent development perspective in assessing the development of the mango industry in the country. The study districts are Yilo Krobo District and Kintampo North Municipal Assemblies in Eastern and Brong-Ahafo Regions in Ghana. Purposive and snowballing sampling techniques were used in getting the sample interviewees. The sample size is 43, (32 mango farmers and 11 key informants) from state institutions and donor partners. In-depth primary data was collected using unstructured interview schedule. Content analysis was used for analyzing government policies on allocation of productive resources and processes of land acquisition, extension services delivery, medium of integration of farmers and skills and technical assistance to farmers. Thematic analysis was used in analyzing marketing of mango under liberalized market regime. Interpretative analysis was used in analyzing the contribution of mango industry to the Ghanaian economy and impact of agricultural policy on economic development. The findings show that a total of 404 hectares of mango farms are cultivated by the 32 mango farmers. Mango farmers in Yilo Krobo cultivated 175.2 hectares while those in Kintampo North cultivated 228.8 hectares. There were sixteen large-scale and sixteen small-scale farmers, the former cultivated 353.2 hectares of mango farms while the latter cultivated 50.3 hectares. While there were no illiterates in the mango production, farmers with secondary education have dominated. The two highest land holding systems are leasehold and usufruct with outright purchase being the least. Land acquisition is more elaborate and safe in Kintampo North than in Yilo Krobo. Farmers find it difficult to secure land title certificate from the Land Title Registry as a result of role over-lap among the Survey Department, Lands Commission and Land Title Registry. About 24 mango farmers have had credit assistance, (17) from the state and (7) from donor partners. The state institution is Export Development Investment and Agricultural Fund (EDIAF) while donor partner funds came through agencies such as GIZ and USAID. The government policy on youth in agriculture has failed in the mango industry. Government is unable to honour the promise to supply subsidized fertilizer to farmers regularly. In 2013, government owed private fertilizer companies who distributed the input to the farmers. Farmers are integrated with skills and technical assistance through farmer-based organization. The state and donor partners provided technical assistance and skill development training to farmers which enabled the farmers meet production and food safety standards and farm certification. Government constituted state agencies such as Ghana Standards Authority, Environmental Protection Authority and Plant Protection Regulatory Services Department to regulate agro-chemical use, control plant pest and diseases, and protect the health of the consumer through the determination of Minimum Residue Level of pesticides in the mango fruits. The marketing structure in the mango industry under the liberalized market and trade regime include a consortium of Agro-business and Development Managers at the regional or district levels and special marketing assistants in the local production communities. They negotiate and fix prices of mango fruits at the beginning of every harvesting season. There are three major fruit processing companies in Ghana. Mango farmers and fruit processing companies have experienced increased income and regular profit. Farmers are able to educate their children, build decent houses and provide food to their families. Blue Skies fruit processing company declared a corporate profit of £ 51.4 million in 2010. The company provides basic social amenities to the mango producing communities as their corporate social responsibility. Ghana’s state policy on the promotion of export crops in general and horticultural crops in particular has led to dependent development in the mango industry since 1992. Three main policies accounted for this phenomenon. The investment policies are GIPC Act (Act 478) and Free Zone Enterprise Act (Act 504) and the agricultural policy is Food and Agricultural Sector Development Policy (FASDEP). The policy implications of the study are that continuity in state policy despite change in government and ideologies make it possible for foreign industrialists to have confidence in investing in the fresh fruit processing sector as part of foreign direct investment in the country. Mango production has added to the portfolio of crops that created social stratification in the savannah agro-ecological zones. Liberalised system of marketing does not favour farmers in remote rural communities compared to the egalitarian system of marketing found in cocoa and sheanut sectors in Ghana. The study confirms studies by McMichael (2012) and So (1990) which argue that where state policy is directed at public private partnership and with consistency in national development ideology in the development of specific sectors then socio-economic development takes off.
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    Social Reintegration of Offenders and Recidivism in Ghana
    (University of Ghana, 2015-07) Antwi, A.; Abotchie, C.; Tonah, S.; Dzorgbo, D.; University of Ghana, College of Humanities, School of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology
    In Ghana, the issue of offenders returning home safely to lead law-abiding lives has been a daunting task. Every year, hundreds of offenders leave the prison but relapse into criminal behaviour sooner or later after their release. It is on record that 24% of ex-offenders recidivate again and again. This implies that secondary crime prevention strategies in Ghana are ineffective in reforming, rehabilitating and reintegrating the offenders. The question this study sought to address is: what is the nature of the transition of offenders in Ghana? In addressing this question, a sample of offenders who were recidivists, case managers, social workers, prison evangelists and family members of the recidivists were purposively engaged in in-depth interviews. The findings suggest that most ex-offenders re-offend because of individual characteristics, family relationships, community context and penal policies which have been categorized into the institutional push and pull factors as well as social and community push factors. The institutional push factors stem from the fact that penal policies in Ghana mainly focus on custody, deterrence and retribution rather than rehabilitation. Consequently, prison-based interventions are ineffective in transforming the inmates into law-abiding citizens because governments are not obliged to finance rehabilitation programmes. The social and community push factors find expression in social rejection. The social system outside the prison is coercive and non-supportive. Although most ex-prisoners go back to their families, they face coercive interpersonal relationships. In addition, most of them do not get the needed support from the larger society due to the stigma of prison record. The negative perceptions of the public on prisoners have remained static and these reinforce the stigmatized identities of ex-offenders in Ghana. As a consequence, most ex-offenders lack legitimate support from micro and macro sources. The lack of civic engagement in conventional activities prevents ex-offenders from having a meaningful interactions with pro-social others and build new identities. The weak ties to conventional society also imply that informal controls which are critical in criminal desistence also become weak. This produces anger, strain, low self-esteem, lack of self-control and a sense of social rejection. Thus most ex-offenders in Ghana tend to seek support from illegitimate sources by developing the criminal capital, leading to re-offending behaviours. The study recommended a shift of emphasis in penal policy reforms from punitive to rehabilitative measures so as to hold governments responsible for financing rehabilitation in Ghana prisons. Further, ex-offenders should be re-engaged in civic activities to enhance their acceptance back into their communities in Ghana.
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    Domestication of the Mobile Phone Amongst Kantamanto Used-Clothes Traders in Accra
    (University of Ghana, 2014-12) Asante, R.K.B.; Dzorgbo, D; Darkwah, A.K.; University of Ghana, College of Humanities, School of Social Sciences , Department of Sociology
    The mobile phone technology only recently gained its ubiquitous status and rapidity in design and features. The African context is no exception to this, as a result, it is only in the last decade that people have had the opportunity to own and discard various mobile phone handsets. Most studies have not considered the social dimension of the "journey" of owning and discarding the mobile phone handset. Consequently, the study explored the entire process involved in the traders accessing and making the mobile phone an extension of themselves from the point of owning the technology to the point of deciding to dispose of it. The process was explored using both the innovators and domestication process frameworks at five different, but interwoven levels, including, uptake, appropriation, objectification, incorporation and conversion. The sequential-mixed-method (qualitative-before-quantitative) with a sample of 431 used-clothes traders was employed. The respondents were selected using the purposive, snowball and cluster sampling methods from the Kantamanto market in Accra. After obtaining data using the in-depth interview and observational approaches from 11 traders, face-to-face interviews were conducted using the survey approach for 420 respondents with 86% response rate (363). Relying on the innovators and domestication process frameworks to explore this process, the findings of the study revealed that the uptake of the mobile phone is fuelled by two broad factors: the mandatory factors and the design based factors. While the mandatory factors are the domain of women; older users and those with low education; men, younger users and those with high education dominate the design factors. This showed that innovators are not always the ones who have used the mobile phone the longest. Men and young users, who are often driven to own, use and change mobile phone handsets more by their preference for improved features than the mere replacement of a broken handset, often dominate the innovators. Additionally, the call feature of the mobile phone is now a taken for granted basis for owning a handset amongst the traders. The study further revealed that the appropriation of the mobile phone handset is fueled by self-purchase for males and older owners, and gift for females and younger owners. Additionally, males within the traders‘ family circle and mobile phone repairers located at the market also significantly influence the traders in their mobile phone decisions. Conspicuously missing from this were advertisers and marketers. The study further revealed that objectification means more than just the physical display of the handset to score social status points, it also includes display of specific usage such as display of ringtones, social media uses and fashion. Objectification is interwoven with the earlier stages of the domestication process. Incorporation showed that three major routines of the traders drive their usage patterns and the continual usage of a handset, these include business, family responsibilities and entertainment routines. However, business usage was the most dominant pattern across all socio-demographic characteristics with no significant difference. Features and functions of the mobile phone that do not find a place in the traders‘ routines are abandoned. The incorporation stage is interwoven with the earlier stages of the domestication process. The final stage is the conversion stage; the study established that three key variables mediate the traders‘ attachment to their handset as expressed by themselves and seen by members of their social group. These are the age of the handset owner, the influence of others in managing the handset and finally the control the trader has over the mobile phone operation. The domestication process is not a linear process, but the stages overlap cyclically. Finally, the study showed that depending on a trader‘s age, gender and educational level, the traders take different paths in domesticating the mobile phone either as a gadget or as a communication device, even though they all belong to the same trading context.
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    Couples in Search of Children: A Study of Strategies And Management of Infertility in Contemporary Ghana
    (University of Ghana, 2014-07) Hiadzi, R. A.; Dzorgbo, D.; Darkwah, A. K.; Arhinful, D. K.; University of Ghana, College of Humanities, School of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology
    Marriages in Ghana are considered incomplete when there are no children. Changing social values have, however, placed more emphasis on biological parenthood while de-bunking the traditional ways of dealing with infertility. The pronatalist culture continues to persist in the light of these changes thereby making the burden of infertility even more pronounced and individualized. This creates an endless search for conception from various treatment options. This study describes the experiences of infertile married men and women and their responses to their infertile situation through the use of modern treatment options. It has the following objectives: to identify the categories of people utilizing low tech, medical herbalists and high tech fertility treatments, to understand the motivations behind their treatment seeking, to understand what determines their treatment choice as well as the contestations that exist between couples and other actors over treatment choices and how they are resolved. In addition, the study explored the processes that respondents follow in seeking treatment and reported on the social, religious and cultural context surrounding the use of ARTs as evidenced in respondents‘ways of navigating around components of ART treatment. The respondents for the study were purposively selected from three sites namely a private herbal clinic, a government hospital and a private orthodox fertility clinic which utilizes Assisted Reproductive Technologies (i.e. IVF, ICSI etc). These clinics are located in the capital, Accra. Based on qualitative in-depth interview data obtained through convenience sampling of 45 respondents and nine key informants, the study noted the following: infertile men and women continue to desire to become biological parents based on both societal considerations and personal desires. Specifically, factors such as marital security, children as social security and for purposes of inheritance and social status were at play. In addition, although the health seeking behaviour of respondents was influenced by both kin and non-kin actors, some respondents showed a degree of autonomy in the final decision taken regarding treatment. Explanations provided for the cause of infertility by both respondents and their friends and relatives led them to seek treatment from either the biomedical or spiritual healer. However, where such treatment options were unfavourable and/or did not achieve the desired results, some respondents moved from herbal treatment to orthodox treatment and vice versa. In addition, they intensified their efforts at obtaining healing by complementing biomedical healing with spiritual healing. Finally, respondents accessing ART treatment were found to select aspects of the treatment procedure that created the least forms of dissonance for them based on socio-cultural, religious and personal considerations. The use of these technologies were not seen as conflicting with religious beliefs as in most cases, respondents drew on religion to explain treatment successes and failures. The study therefore recommends, amongst other things, that medical herbalism should be developed due to the continued reliance on herbal treatment. Some infertility treatments should also be considered for incorporation into the National Health Insurance scheme to improve access and reduce the burden of infertility. People also need to be well informed about treatment options while reducing the negative effects of media advertising. Future studies should also cover other major cities of the country and include an exploration of other modern treatment options such as surrogacy and the incidence of reproductive tourism as well as target those who may not be accessing any form of formal treatment.