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Dynamism in Precolonial African Society Essay Example

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Dynamism in Precolonial African Society

The breakdown of the lives of the members of the Igbo community of Africa is indicated by the death of the protagonist, Okonkwo. The colonizers, and not the tensions within African society, are shown to be the cause of its decline and stagnation (Achebe, 1987).Such societies were the center of many forces that then led to the formation of capitalist societies in the present. These forces interacted with the capitalist and imperialist forces of the colonial powers to produce the society of Africa that we see today. The interaction of these produced a society at the center of which was still, the primitive dynamic society of Africa. This society presented one of the perfect examples of the interaction between the forces of African primitive society with its emphasis on lineage and the institutions that support it and are a part of that framework, and the new economic structures that the colonizing powers of Europe brought with them (Sangmpam, 1995). To analyze the society of the primitive eras of Africa, an analysis of the present and the effects of the past on the present is very important. An analysis of present-day Africa would reveal to us how the two world orders interact. The societies of Africa, thrust into democratic setups, have been unable to function as smoothly as they did under indigenous forms of governance. This is not to suggest that democracy is not a workable form of governance in Africa. However, the transition was not affected in a very scientific manner and there was a great resistance from the ancient forms of social structuring. The power and dynamism of these social orders can be seen in the resistance to sudden and imposed change that they offer. The tribal forms of governance in African societies were in many ways, examples of a smooth and efficient form of democracy. While they were not completely democratic by any stretch of the imagination, they did offer certain strengths to women and marginalized sections of the society in ways that Western society never has. They also offered means of redressal for people who had been wronged in ways that were quick and efficient.

Bibliography

1. Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Penguin, 1987.

2. Sangmpam, S.N. “Sociology of "Primitive Societies," Evolutionism, and Africa”. Sociological Forum 10 (1995): 4, accessed April 21, 2012, http://www.jstor.org/stable/684774

3. Irwin, Graham W. “Precolonial African Diplomacy: The Example of Asante”. The International Journal of African Historical Studies 8 (1975): 1, accessed April 21, 2012, http://www.jstor.org/stable/217487

preview essay on Dynamism in Precolonial African Society
  • Pages: 4 (1000 words)
  • Document Type: Research Paper
  • Subject: Anthropology
  • Level: College
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