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The conflict between Mama and Beneatha is related to respect for family and family history.
Beneatha desperately seeks a way to self-respect in A Raisin in the Sun. Her pursuit of education, which Mama supports, is a large part of her character, as is her interest in creating an African identity for herself.
Mama only disagrees with these interests where they constitute an intentional break with the family, family history and entrenched family values. Mama believes that her children have been raised to respect themselves (and God), as she herself does and as their father did. The family is not something to be escaped or broken from.
Beneatha's self-makeover becomes a betrayal and a significant source of disrespect to Mama, as she sees it.
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