The Social and Cultural Impact of Colonization

The Social and Cultural Impact of Colonization - The Social...

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The Social and Cultural Impact of Colonization: Migration, Urbanization, and African Life I. Orientation: Ways of understanding modern African history thus far a. Economic motives of colonialism: realm of economic history b. The role of states in mediating and maintaining interests: realm of political history c. Interaction between economic priorities and state behavior d. African resistance: is resistance the only form of African agency in the context of colonialism? II. Questions a. What about cultural impact of colonialism? b. What about everyday life? c. How did African economic and political participation lead to cultural change? d. How was colonialism negotiated at the everyday level? III. Conditions of Cultural History: continuity and change a. Cultural change as a pre-existing process i. Trade on the West and East coasts ii. Islam during the 8 th century iii. Ethiopian Christian church established in 4 th century 1. 19 th century missionaries were not the first 2. Literacy b. Continuity of local cultural practices i. Colonialism’s impact was uneven ii. “Syncretism”: hybrid of cultural beliefs 1. Often in context of religion 2. African communities embrace Islam AND local spiritual practices 3. Example: pray to Allah every day, but also make sacrifices c. Economic change and consumer taste i. Provided new manufactured goods
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1. Cloth, radios, automobiles ii. Introduced currencies 1. Transformed nature of labor, wealth, and inheritance 2. Enabled new ways of considering wealth and power 3. Less kin labor iii. Economic change slow 1. 1885-1920: investment of European capital was low a. Market change therefore was slow b. Only exception: South Africa d. Political change and identity i. New political ideas that challenged political and cultural status quo 1. “Invention” of ethnic identities: indirect rule a. New structures of power b. New people in charge 2. Category of race and experience of racism a. Race as a means of anti-colonial solidarity b. Racism felt on an everyday basis c. Pan-Africanism IV. Cultural Life and Changing Demography a. 1889 to WWI: decline in population growth i. Increase in mortality ii. Due to changes in economics and politics b. Post-WWI: increase in growth i. Economies stabilized ii. Infrastructure provided food access, medical care iii. Famines and epidemics could be controlled
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c. Population growth and urbanization i. Rural and urban areas: qualitative differences ii. Rural-to-urban migration 1. limits to natural resources in rural areas 2. More people wanted new opportunities 3. Immigrants as well as Africans V. Role of Urban Spaces a. Zones of opportunity i. New economic possibilities ii. New identity 1. Did not owe money to parents 2. Working for yourself iii. Escape from traditional kind system
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This note was uploaded on 05/16/2011 for the course HIST 130 taught by Professor Lindsay during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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The Social and Cultural Impact of Colonization - The Social...

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