Tradition and Change among the Bakossi of Southwest Cameroon - A Socio-Economic Study - Also available: electronic version of this book for download!
In today’s highly globalised world there is an increasing pressure on local cultures and economies towards conformity. The two dominant forces pushing towards this conformity are Western culture, mainly in its US version, and the capitalist free market ideology. Adaptation processes result all over the world and people experience this as change that is sometimes welcomed and sometimes feared. Especially Sub-Saharan Africa seems very much affected by these developments. Ancient customs are challenged, common conventions are questioned and the loss of tradition is lamented. On the other hand, African societies and their cultures and economies have never been completely static but have been evolving and developing ever since, i.e. change is not something that is per se a new and foreign experience. How then have these societies been coping with the ambivalent experience of tradition and change in the past and how are they coping with it today?
Looking at the Bakossi in southwest Cameroon, in the form of a case study the book is trying to attempt an answer to this question. After presenting the traditional Bakossi economy and society the socio-economic development of the past 130 years is reconstructed and thoroughly analysed, offering fascinating insights into highly intricate and complex processes. Among others, the key actors are identified, their motivations are studied and their multiple interactions are portrayed. The purpose of the book is to provide an adequate understanding of the internal and external forces and dynamics of tradition and change. This is an indispensable precondition for any meaningful intervention towards the comprehensive development of any given society aiming at a holistic improvement of the welfare of its people.
Kommunikation und Beratung, Band 120
ISSN 0947-03522016; XX+604pp., paperback
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