EXPERT COMMENT: We are a valueless, mannerless, and immoral society

The transition has brought confusion in the marriage set and is expected to continue causing mayhem

In Summary

•The mix of the traditional and modern value system have not produced a compatible arrangement to sustain the family.

•The family value system need to be re-engineered

Department of Sociology Prof. Charles Nzioka

The family unit and society at large is under huge attack because there is confusion about the value system that should be adopted to govern them.

Society generally is in transition; from a traditional setting to modernity, carrying nuances and contortion whose results, such as the fatal marital challenges reported, will continue to loom large. 

For example, in the traditional value system, solving problems in the marital set up had legitimate people such as grandparents, cousins, siblings whose authority were respected.


But in the current set-up, people struggle to solve their problems on their own, without proper wisdom on self-restraint and patience, butchering each other obtains.


Further, the transition has seen many of us want to identify ourselves as modern, rejecting the traditional set-up and values to solve our problems, but conveniently revert to them should the modern rules fail. 

For example, most young marriages in cities or urban are in crisis. A man and a woman meet and start living and hence do not have accountability structures to guide them.

So when they have a problem, they do not have anybody to talk to and hence continue bottling up issues. When the pressure comes to bear, you see them butcher each other alongside their children. This is different from the traditional set up where there were mechanisms of venting out. 

Moreover, the custodian of our value system in the modern era is weakened. Look at the church, the pastors are insisting that people should only do what they say, not what they do.

Secondly, teachers' authority has also been eroded and dis-empowered. They no longer have the freedom to correct and punish kids because they want to avoid legal suits from parents.

Thirdly, the role of the parents has also been affected because the modern mindset forbids the punishing of kids in a manner compatible with our cultures.

So, effectively, we are a valueless, mannerless, and immoral society.

Therefore, we need to re-engineer the value system, especially in the context of marriage so that we see a hybrid of modern and traditional systems. 

But now that we cannot rewind the clock, the transition will continue sustaining this mayhem into the foreseeable future. 

The chairman of UoN Department of Sociology spoke to the Star