CONFLICTS IN PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP SELECTED AFRICAN TEXT
Existing studies in different spheres of human endeavour have focused on the negative and destructive potentials of conflict. The scanty attention by literary scholars on conflict as a constructive force implies a gap in knowledge. This study, therefore, investigated the issue of conflict, its forms, bases, positive effects and internal mechanisms for improving inter-personal relationship in the home in selected African texts.
The methodology adopted was qualitative. Four literary texts that represent two generations of African writers were purposively selected based on their thematic relevance to the study. The study was guided by psychoanalytic and post-colonial theories with indepth focus on characters’ conscious and unconscious actions and the socio-economic situations in which they exist.
Findings revealed forms, bases, positive effects of conflict and internal mechanisms for improving relationship in the home in the selected texts. In Chukwuemeka Ike’sOur Children are Coming, the forms of conflict discovered are political, behavioural and ideological, the bases for conflict were sexual immorality, laziness, selfishness and possessiveness of parents, the positive effects of conflict was of social structures creation, the internal mechanisms for improving relationship in the home were trust, flexibility and acculturation. They were ideological and psychological forms of conflict in Sons and Daughters, the bases for conflict were generational gap and misplacement of trust, the positive effects of conflictwere unity and socialization, the internal mechanisms for improving relationship in the home were compromise and trust. In Measuring Time, the forms of conflict discovered were behavioural and ideological, the bases for conflict were, negligence, unrestricted desire and father’s wound, the positive effect of conflict was personal development of individuals, the internal mechanisms for improving relationship in the home was discovered to be equal parental love and shared positive power. The forms of conflict in Fetters and Choices were ideological, and behavioural, the bases for conflict were servile disobedience, selfish motive and mother’s wound. The positive effects of conflict generally were improved mutual understanding, mutual respect, personal growth and development.
The study concluded that conflict is inevitable and exists in different forms, for different bases and diverse positive effects and recommended that the preoccupation of the destructive nature of conflict should be de-emphasised, so as to exclude domestic conflict from stigma.
Keywords: Conflict, Parent-child relationship, gender, positivity, Ideology