Skip to content
Home » Africa, a Change of Mind: How to Turn Away from Outdated Patterns…The Mind of Africa..the interaction of Western culture with African culture through the influence of formal education

Africa, a Change of Mind: How to Turn Away from Outdated Patterns…The Mind of Africa..the interaction of Western culture with African culture through the influence of formal education

Africa, a Change of Mind: How to Turn Away from Outdated Patterns...The Mind of Africa..the interaction of Western culture with African culture through the influence of formal education

The developmental patterns of Africa have long been strained by inefficiency, lack of sustainability, and the physical and mental heritage of oppressive postcolonialism. Yet today transformation toward a more innovative stewardship could surface, driven by a change in the underlying mindset by Africans themselves and also by growing opportunity for women by strategic self-conception. It could also become particularly important for future African-European relations
The figures investigates the histories of our inaccurate and stereotypical words and ideas and suggests alternatives. It talks about the whole of Africa as Africa because the issues discussed in the book are relevant for the whole. The zapped Africa focuses on white occidental myths about Africa—because they have been the most dominant, the most negative, and the most in need of change. Africa is, however, very much a part of the occidental subconscious. In the first part of the twentieth century, most peoples of the Western world believed that Africans could be subjugated because they were primitives, natives. During much of American history, a large majority of western governments considered racist beliefs and exploitation of Africa acceptable. Positive myths about Africa also serve Western self-definition. Those who are dissatisfied with modern globalization life might construct Africa to present viable alternatives.

The Mind of Africa

Dr. Abraham has brought to bear on the problems and prospects of the New Africa an approach which is the fruit of a thorough grounding in the philosophy of the Western world, combined with the natural commitment of a young African intellec- tual to the cause of African freedom. The result is an analysis of the complex processes of social and political change going on in Africa, which comhines (as Dr. Abraham justly claims in the Preface) “the externality of an outsider and the sensibility of one with an inward knowledge of things.” It is this factor, apart from the value of the factual material assembled, which makes his book one of the most significant contribu-
tions in recent years to an understanding of the forces at work in molding the social structure of the independent African states.
If one seeks a central theme, it is to be found in Dr. Abraham’s assertion of thc importance of ensuring that African culture is not destroyed by the impact of Western techniques and concepts. Notwithstanding their diversity, he maintains that all African communities present a number of ideas and attitudes which are common to African society as a whole. He identifies these and states crisply the issues that face AIrican leaders: what is there in African culture that may least disruptively be dis- carded? What is there that Western culture offers which may be taken over and inte- grated with African culture?
The first chapter is devoted to a discussion of the nature of culture. Dr. Abraham emphasizes the integrative function of culture by discussing its role in forging acommon bond among people both within and outside the sphere of activity subject to inter- vention by the state.
In the second chapter he undertakes a description and analysis of African culture, taking the Akan of Ghana as his paradigm. He starts with their religious beliefs, elaborating the central concept of a world which is shared by human beings, ancestral spirits, and gods. He then deals with the theory of government. Political power is shown to have been derived from popular consensus. The power of the traditional ruler was always subject to well recognized limitations: no important decision could he taken without discussion permitting all views to be put forward; a ruler acting con- trary to the opinion of his people-as indicated by the advice of his counsellors-or neglecting affairs of state, could be removed. On the other hand, once consensus had been achieved by full and free discussion, there was no toleration of a dissenting view- point. “Such luxuriesas minority reports were …foreign to the political arrangements of the Akans.” A short description of the legal system brings out its important features, namely the absence of separation between the executive and the judicial power in the state, and the failure to draw a clear dividing line between civil and criminal offences. The remainder of the chapter describes Akan literature and discusses the interaction of Western culture with Akan culture through the influence of formal education, the
missionary, and commercial activity.
In the third chapter Dr. Abraham turns to the contemporary scene in Africa. After
a discussion of the effects of colonial rule, he applies himself to the problem of main- taining democracy in the new states. He examines the institutions and processes re- garded as essential in the Western conception of democratic government, and shows how accepted ideas on these matters fail to take into account the special circumstances of the independent states of Africa. While he agrees on the need for “a judiciary which
Book Reviews 911
is reasonably impartial,” he rejects the proposition that democracy is impossible with- out a plurality of parties.
The fourth and final chapter puts the case for African unity within the framework of a realistic assessment of the relevant factors. Economic resources, actual and poten- tial, are surveyed, and the importance of shared history and common culture stressed; but there are warnings against the dangers of tribalism, and the risk of a mass party being in fact controlled by a small elite not animated by the ideals which brought the party to power.
Dr. Abraham concludes his book by reminding his readers that while it has been said that it took the United States 170 years to achieve unity, there are pressures operating on Africa which justify the belief that Pan-African progress is likely to be faster. The establishment last year of the Organization of African Unity is an encourag- ing endorsement by African politicians of the judgment of a young African intellectual.
Copper Town: Changing Africa. The Human Situation on the Rhodesian Copperbelt. HORTENSPEOWDERMAKNEewR.York and Evanston: Harper & Row, Publishers 1962. xxiii, 391 pp., index, 1 map, notes, plates, references, 16 tables. $7.95.
Reviewed by C . FRANTPZo,rtland State College With one month’s notice, the author went to Luanshya, the urban development surrounding the Roan Antelope Mine, intending to explore the transmission of Euro- American culture via mass media. She postulated that leisure activities, being largely voluntary, might serve as an index of individual and social change. Africans were trained to administer a questionnaire to a “sample” of Copperbelt adults and to take notes during conversations and activities in homes, at public meetings, and during movies. Selective depth interviews, casual visits and participation, and the use of topical essays written by intermediate and adult students on their values, aspirations,
and images were also used to procure information.
The data gained about African attitudes and behavior contributed sufficient insights
that Powdermaker decided to expand her study and give primary attention to the general processes of individual and social change. In her view the direction of all change, whether organic, psychological, cultural, or social, is from differentiation toward convergence. But in analyzing her own and others’ data, she borrows heavily from psychoanalytic theory, especially Erickson’s work on ego-identity.
The study explores some of the general characteristics of tribal life in Northern Rhodesia before Europeans arrived. I t is said that family life, especially, unavoidably generated both conscious and unconscious hostility and anxiety; this in turn had to be channeled through witchcraft, quarreling, alcohol consumption, or other mechanisms. Breast-feeding established relationships of trust and stability between mother and child, but an unsatisfactory resolution of the weaning crisis provoked much insecurity. Still, the breast provided a symbolic model for many adult relationships, especially those involving authority. However, the social system did not encourage individuals to become autonomous by seeking spontaneous growth or self-awareness, as the chil- dren had a nearly complete role identification with adults. Since a “developed” identity and greater autonomy of the self was atypical, .4fricans have generally been “fixated” at the oral level.
Until Europeans arrived with new values and goals the Africans had no signifi- cantly differentadult models available to them. The foreigners’ presence produced both social and personal strain, yet their missionary and educational activities “may” have produced individuals who become “more successful’’ in adult socialization.

anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1525/aa.1…

Posted by bernawy hugues kossi huo on 2020-02-12 11:38:26

Tagged: , Changing , Mind , Africa , Cameroun , Cameroon , succumbing , connection , change , myth , Zapped , Zapping , TV , wood , Sculpture , Warrior , African , Mindset , Innovation , Mental , Self-concept , Opportunity , future , alternative , positive , W.E.ABRAHAM , intellectual , formal , Educational , Education , influence , Relationship , leader , Discuss , separation , Paradigmatic , power , Bamiléké , esprit , Saint , SI , OFFICIAL , CarlZeiss , Lenses , Group , Sony , ILCE-7RM2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights