3 Cultural Diversity And Culture Change Class#4

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3 Cultural Diversity And Culture Change Class#4

  1. 1. Cultural Diversity and Culture Change in Africa 06/04/09
  2. 2. Cultural Diversity in Africa <ul><li>Africa as one vs. Africa as many </li></ul><ul><li>Africa is not a country and African states are often not a nation </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnicity vs. Tribe </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnicity vs. Caste: Rwanda/Burundi </li></ul><ul><li>Language: Few dominant with a multitude of languages </li></ul><ul><li>Ghai, Allah, Christo: Africa’s Triple Heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Social Class: WaBenzi au Wananichi </li></ul>06/04/09
  3. 3. African Unity vs. Diversity <ul><li>Scholars like Jacques Maquet depict Africanity: as several characteristics shared P41 </li></ul><ul><li>Other view of fragmented Africa with diverse exotic and mysterious incompatible differences </li></ul><ul><li>Neither view right where some similarities mainly out of shared colonial experience and differences out of differing cultures, experiences, and geographies </li></ul><ul><li>Previous scholars characterize Africa though orientalist view </li></ul>
  4. 4. Africa is not a country and African states are often not a nation <ul><li>Some western views on Africa put continent as “one country”, although some pan-African attempts have tried to make this so </li></ul><ul><li>At the same time many nations (ethnic groups) exist within the African state with their loyalties at the sub state level instead of at the state level </li></ul><ul><li>Africa has a few nation-state fits, Somalia, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Botswana, although the nation spills across the state border and other internal state divisions might exist </li></ul><ul><li>Most states such as Cameroon, Tanzania, and Nigeria have hundreds of ethnic groups </li></ul><ul><li>In Nigeria and Kenya a few large ethnic groups dominate the smaller tribes in politics </li></ul>
  5. 5. Ethnicity vs. Tribe <ul><li>Ethnicity is a group sharing a loyalty and perceived common origin either real or socially constructed. </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnicity replaced “Tribe” and ethnic problems replaced “Tribalism” with tribe connotation primitive feuding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In some cases ethnicity referred to as ethnic nation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some “tribes” colonial (Igbo in Nigeria) or even post-colonial (Kalenjin, Kenya) social constructions </li></ul><ul><li>“ Tribalism” essential in justifying colonialism and using divide and rule during colonialism </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic labeling and ethnic loyalty for advancement </li></ul>
  6. 6. Ethnicity vs. Caste: Rwanda/Burundi <ul><li>Tutsi ruling class and Hutu peasant class in feudal system but share same culture/language </li></ul><ul><li>Belgium/German colonialism turn caste into ethnicity </li></ul><ul><li>Post colonial gov’t continue social construction </li></ul><ul><li>Hutu and Tutsi in exile create “mythico-history” (Malkki) </li></ul><ul><li>Socially constructed ethnicity creates multi-state war and genocide </li></ul>
  7. 7. Language: Few dominant with a multitude of languages <ul><li>2000 African Languages although in decline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Niger-Congo group (map 49) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>800-1000 in Bantu subgroup </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Afro-Asiatic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nilo-Saharan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Khoisan </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Growth of Lingua Francas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Swahili, Hausa, Arabic, Malinke (Senegal), </li></ul></ul><ul><li>pidgins, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creole (English w other colonial and African tongues spoken in Liberia and Sierra Leone) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Official post-colonial languages (English and French are expanding, but Spanish and Portuguese in decline in Africa. </li></ul>
  8. 8. African identity is complex, multilayered and multilingual 06/04/09 African (multilingual) Nigerian (English, Yoruba, Igbo) Igbo (Igbo) Member of Asaba hometown association (Igbo) University graduate (English) western educated professional (English, maybe French too) Non-indigene “settler” in Ibadan (Yoruba)
  9. 9. Ghai, Allah, Christo: Africa’s Triple Heritage <ul><li>Religion often central to African life </li></ul><ul><li>Indigenous religions although in some cases Islam and Christianity is the indigenous religion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethiopia (Christianity) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Swahili coast (Islam) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Syncretism: where Christianity and Islam mix with indigenous religious practice </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Allah, Christo and Africa <ul><li>Islam </li></ul><ul><ul><li>spread through missionary activity and trade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very diverse faith within Africa (Sufi in Senegal, Taha in Sudan) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often accommodated local culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes seen as African but sometimes seen as connected to extremism (Shira) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Christianity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>spread through missionary activity and colonialism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also diverse practices (Zionism) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often does not accommodate local culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes seen as colonial </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Islam and Christianity: Tensions and Accommodations <ul><li>Both religions spread through colonialism as both colonial resistance and colonial penetration </li></ul><ul><li>Tensions over Shria in Nigeria and Sudan </li></ul><ul><li>Historic cooperation, but often U.S. war on terror creeping into Africa, ie 3 terror attacks in Kenya where historic cooperation between Christians and Moslems </li></ul>
  12. 12. Social Class: WaBenzi au Wananichi <ul><li>Wide gap between rich and poor </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes due to remnants of colonialism with local elite handling former colonizer’s job </li></ul><ul><li>State Bourgeoisie </li></ul><ul><li>Widening gap due to SAPs </li></ul><ul><li>Urban-rural class connections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Big man in village from urban wealth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growing urban poor pushed to city </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HTAs </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Other social classes <ul><li>Petty capitalist often middle class sometimes Indian or Lebanese </li></ul><ul><li>Lower status employees </li></ul><ul><li>Informal sector poor </li></ul><ul><li>unemployed </li></ul>
  14. 14. Cultural Change and Re-constructing Culture <ul><li>Culture is being contested </li></ul><ul><li>Culture is a social construct </li></ul><ul><li>Culture’s debate who they are and cannot easily be described with attributes </li></ul><ul><li>“ Timeless” traditions are recent constructions: Maasai </li></ul><ul><li>“ Civil Society’ and “NGOs”: Africa’s most recent cultural construction </li></ul><ul><li>African Culture through Art </li></ul>06/04/09
  15. 15. Culture is contested <ul><li>Various factions in a society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Age sets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Genders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ innovators” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>traditionalists </li></ul></ul>06/04/09
  16. 16. Culture is a social construct <ul><li>Africa is a European social construction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once referred to as Ethiopia or the Sudan (Arabic for land of the Blacks) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Africa only referred to north Africa, the former Roman province prior to the European naming of the continent </li></ul></ul>06/04/09
  17. 17. Culture Box <ul><li>Previously culture seen as attributes that describe a people </li></ul><ul><li>Currently scholars describe how culture is contested by factions within a society asserting their view on society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Young innovators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditionalist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Men </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual and groups </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. “ Timeless” traditions <ul><li>Previously African cultures seen as static unchanging </li></ul><ul><li>Historically societies constantly forming and evolving </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-Colonial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Colonial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post colonial </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Timeless” Maasai did not emerge until 18 th or 19 th century and only in recent history did they abandon farming for their “timeless” pastoral life </li></ul>
  19. 19. “ Civil Society’ and “NGOs <ul><li>Space between “culture” and the “state” </li></ul><ul><li>Non-governmental Organizations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Health needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rights needs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Religious organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Non-party political opposition </li></ul>
  20. 20. African Culture through Art <ul><li>Literature in colonial languages </li></ul><ul><li>Literature in African languages: Swahili, Kikuyu, Yoruba and Igob </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ngugi Wa Thiongo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chinua Achebe </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visual and performing arts representing Africa’s cultures </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.uiowa.edu/%7Eafricart/Burkina_mask_catalogue/index.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Often art for ceremony and purpose, not art for art sake </li></ul>

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