Coethinicity argues that tribal identification is the most socially salient identity in Kampala, Uganda. Based on a series of experiments, the authors of Coethnicity found that homogenous ethnic identity was crucial to the pursuit of the common good based on the shared ethnic norm of reciprocity. Contrary to this idea, I will argue that this assumption is empirically questionable and ultimately unhelpful in the broader quest to understand how “ethnicity” and politics relate because there are other factors involved that Coethnicity does not take into account. Before expanding on this idea I will first offer a deeper account into Coethnicity’s findings. Next, I will develop my argument using the ideas of Burbanker, Bates, and Posner. With these accounts I will demonstrate Coethnicity over simplifies politics in Africa and there other factors that should be considered like motivation and other external factors.
Co-ethnicty begins by developing the assumption that ethnic diversity provides the explanation for failures of cooperation from members of different communities. Failures like, failing to launch initiatives to fight crime, collect garbage, and maintain drainage channels in the Mulago-Kyebando ethnically diverse communities. The book takes this idea as given and then goes forth to explain that Coethnics are more likely to cooperate as demonstrated through a variety of experimental games, such as the prisoner’s dilemma, in Kampala, Uganda (19). Ultimately their results
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“African societies developed diverse forms, from large centralized states to stateless societies organized around kinship or age sets rather than central authority. Within this diversity were many shared aspects of language and beliefs. Universalistic faiths penetrated the continent and served as the basis for important cultural development in Nubia and Ethiopia.
Throughout the ages, humans from all over the world have created and accepted honorable cultures which they feel a strong connection to and are dependent upon. One’s way of living demonstrates nationality, religion, ethnicity, and art. People who have more than one culture, have been torn between two worlds that have eventually affected their lives. The cultural identities portrayed in both Self Portrait: On the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States by Frida Kahlo and “Legal Alien” by Pat Mora are shown through the symbolism, theme/message, and persona created in the works.
When Idi Amin’s policies are forcing Asians to leave Uganda, Mina’s father Jay asks his lifelong native Ugandan friend Okelo, “Where should I go? Where should I go? This is my home” (Nair). Okelo replies, “Not any more, Jay. Africa is for Africans—black Africans” (Nair). Although the pain of being forced to leave Uganda so that its indigenous people can regain control of the economy is massive for Jay, it is this remark by his closest friend that devastates him, because what it tells him is that he does not belong in Uganda. He is not wanted, not accepted—not even by his best friend.
Paul Rusesabagina, a man with good intentions was married to a Tutsi woman called Tatiana in 1987. He didn’t pertain to ethnic differences and aided hisr wife in escaping ethnic prejudices at her workplace. Tatiana adopted his two children into their family and they had a child of their own. “Character makes trust possible. And trust makes leadership possible. That is the Law of Solid Ground.”(Maxwell,2007, p.64). Due to his affiliation to a Tutsi woman, bearing a Tutsi child, Paul Rusessabagina was exposed to completely clashing divides. After invasion of his neighborhood by the Interhamwe and increasing slaughters, Paul offered his home to 30 neighbor Tutsis.
The British colonization of Kenya destroyed the culture and economy of the native people, but it established a democratic government and left Kenya a more modernized country. During the 1880’s through 1914, the start of WWI, was an age of imperialism. One place that felt victim to this imperialism was Africa. At this time Africa was a wholly unmodernized continent. The reason the Europeans went after Africa was the introduction of the idea of social Darwinism and the “white man’s burden”. Social Darwinism is the belief that only the strongest and the most cunning can make it to the top of the social ladder, and it was the White Man’s Burden to step in for these undeveloped countries
The inhabitants of Africa have sparked my curiosity with their unusual actions and supposed incredulity towards our benevolent race. As such I have monitored the behaviour and actions of the savage inhabitants to understand ways in which to subdue their barbaric nature, that threatens the Modern way of life. Many would argue that these people remain devoid of structure, however our previous conceptions were far from the truth.
In his article, Houtondji offers a general and overarching criticism of aspects of life in modern Africa. Instead of focusing on the more commonly addressed important issues, such as violence, hunger, and disease, he draws attention to problems that seem petty. Though they appear to be secondary to the bigger issues, they are actually symptoms of the much deeper problems, problems that stymie the transition of Africa, as a whole, into modernity. One of Houtondji’s examples provides a description of a
When someone dies in the village, the death is heard in a ritual fashion to inform the citizens of the community. The same is true when the village deals with a murder, or any other problem with an outside village. When the wife of Umuofia was killed in a market by a foreigner from another village, the community of both villages come together to figure out a resolution. When other problems arise in the Ibo community, like a cow running free, the people of the area rapidly come together to figure out who the cow belongs to so the cow does not cause more trouble. The colonizers strategically won the Ibo by winning their youth. The value of unity would not have continued if the youth was taken first. The traditions of unity would not continue in future generations, so the Europeans strategically and more easily get their way and rid of the Ibo culture. Some adults, like Okonkwo’s relative in his mother land, catch on to this strategy. The elder states “‘I say it because I fear for the younger generation… I fear for you young people because you do not understand how strong is the bond of kinship.’” After the British won over the young people of the clan, the assemblies they had in the village started to dimmer. The man in charge of rallying the clan together said “‘This is a great gathering. No clan can boast of greater numbers or greater valor. But are we all here? I ask you: Are all the
In “Using “Tribe” and “Tribalism”: to Misunderstand African Societies,” David Wiley discussed the problems using the words “tribe” and “tribalism” to classify African societies. Wiley argued throughout his article the problems of creating “ethnic” labels among African societies. Various African groups of people are different in their culture, ideas, customs, practices, and dialect. However, many African societies were classified and labeled as “tribes” rather than being understood differently. Each African society had and has today its own unique customs and practices. These customs and practices were seen abstract and obscure to many social scientists and scientists of the 19th century. During this time we see the rise of evolutionary
By this ruling, the various European countries who ruled certain African countries were empowered and as such, they imposed their own administrative and legal systems on those lands which they governed. We find a mixture and a blend where by country after country came to be made up of peoples with different cultural characteristics. However, we must emphasize that this character of division from colonialism made things complex. An example of this complexity in terms of territoriality is illustrated when we identify ‘Ewe people to be found in Ghana, Togo, and the republic of Benin.’ The African inhabitants were Europeanized in terms of culture. The African is made to abolish her cultural identity to embrace a totally different and alien form
Neither the Africans or the Europeans are ready to complete accept the other side’s culture and customs and as a result this disagreement spiraled out into conflict that impacted all of Umofia. Not only does Achebe hold that ignorance and the feeling of threat by opposing culture, but so does Urs Bitterli who defines colonial collision by saying it is an encounter “in which the weaker partner, in military and political terms, was threatened with the loss of cultural identity” (Motts).
One example of ethnic cleavage which can be traced directly to colonial foundations is that of the African/Asian(Indian) divide in Kenya and Uganda. Paul Vandenberg explains the racial privileges which the Asians enjoyed under British rule, leading to their concentration as a relatively successful ethnic group. As migrants flowed within the British empire, Asians who arrived in Kenya were given greater access to social, educational and capitalist opportunities by the colonials, as a result of higher 'racial' status(also Bennell 1982, p131). This expanding community naturally reinforced itself, in part due to the issues of trust and networking, in the absence of openly available commercial institutions(Vandenberg 2003, p450).
Cultural identity is the basis in which identification is used to express different aspects pertaining to identity and heritage. A person's cultural identity may be created by social organization, as well as traditions and customs within their lives. The two aspects that construct my cultural identity are the frequent chores I must complete every day in order to fulfill my behavioral expectations, and the youth group I attend weekly. These aspects are important to my family and me. Therefore, my identity has an immeasurable effect on my upbringing into this multi-cultural world I live in.
First, mapping ethnicities onto modern countries in Africa has been called “ethnogenesis” (Austin 2008). The inconsistency of ethnic labels coupled with the prevalence of migration, “makes it very difficult to be confident about assigning 18th century ethnonyms to 20th century- territories” (Austin 2008:1001). Second, migration in pre-colonial Africa was