The modernity of Bantu traditional values: testing the invariance hypothesis
Bin Karubi, Kikaya
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This is a study of the relationship between persistent Bantu traditional values and social, political and economic institutions, using the premises of the Convergence Theory and the Invariance Hypothesis to determine what that relationship should be. Traditional values like the concept of man as a life force, the principle of communalism and the belief in the interaction between the dead, the living and those to be born have remained invariant throughout the history of the Bantu. This, contrary to the prescriptions of the dominant modernization theory which calls for the dismantling of these values once the society faces the so called "universal forces of change," like the introduction of modern industries, the development of means of communications, the growth of urban centers and above all, the development of modern science and technology. We used a descriptive analysis approach to examine the relationship between values and patterns of authority on the one hand and patterns of solidarity on the other. We did this first in the traditional setting. Then we did an analytical content criticism of those values in the colonial and post colonial periods which most people link to the introduction of modernization in Africa. We found out that, despite change in the environment, traditional values stay the same. Change will occur at the structural level but in order for the new institutions to be legitimate, they must reflect the traditional values of the people. This in a way explains the failure of some imposed political and social institutions to function in Africa.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University. University Professors Program.
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