Frank A. Salamone, Edward Adeyanju
Nigerian Response to Global Change and Child Development
Frank A. Salamone, Edward Adeyanju
Nigeryjska odpowiedź na globalne zmiany i rozwój dzieci
Wpływ kolonializmu i globalizacji zainicjował liczne zmiany na świecie. Żadna z nich nie miała większego znaczenia społecznego i kulturowego niż zmiany w wychowaniu dzieci. Wykorzystując Nigerię jako studium przypadku, koncentrując się głównie na ludzie Joruba (Yoruba) na południowym zachodzie i ludzie Hausa na północy, autorzy starają się wyciągnąć wnioski na temat zmian dokonanych w wyniku globalizacji, które mogłyby być dalej testowane w innych krajach rozwijających się. Myśląc o globalizacji, autorzy stosują się do opisu kulturowej globalizacji Jamesa L. Watsona jako zjawiska doświadczanego w życiu codziennym, na które wpływ ma dyfuzja towarów i idei, i które odzwierciedla standaryzację ekspresji kulturalnych na całym świecie. W szczególności autorzy koncentrują się na tym, w jaki sposób czynniki globalizacyjne mają wpływ na wszystko, co wiąże się z wychowywaniem dzieci, od karmienia do nauki, po społeczną konstrukcję rzeczywistości.]
"Home is where life is found in all its fullness." (Nigerian proverb)
Globalization is, as its name implies, a world-wide process. For Nigeria, this process can be dated up to 500 years ago, long before its petroleum production became a world-wide phenomenon. As Watts notes in this article
Globalization, or the increased interconnectedness and interdependence of people and countries, is generally understood to include two interrelated elements: the opening of borders to increasingly fast flows of goods, services, finance, people and ideas across international borders; and the changes in institutional and policy regimes at the international and national levels that facilitate or promote such flows. It is recognized that globalization has both positive and negative impacts on development
There's a type of terrifying historical continuity in this history of Nigeria's central involvement with world markets, as a supplier of, initially, slaves, then other commodities, and now a hydrocarbon, all of which have been central to the emergence of modernity itself.
In sum, Nigeria's experience with globalization over this 500 or so years has been disastrous. There are many definitions of globalization. However, we concur with the World Health Organization's definition. Given this definition we would expect that the impact of globalization on Nigeria would be great since historically the flow of ideas in world history has led to changes across borders, and these changes have indeed had positive and negative outcomes. It remains to be seen whether the balance of these outcomes tips to the positive or negative side. We wish to explore its impact in one important area, that of child-raising. Findings from that area will enable others to look at the effects of globalization in other areas of Nigerian life.
Globalization and Its Theoretical Precursors
It is important to note that the concept of globalization is an extension of older concepts that may shed some light on its meaning and reach. Anthropology has contributed a great deal to these concepts. We wish to spend some time considering the works of Robert Redfield, George Foster, Oscar Lewis, Eric Wolf, and Ruth Benedict. One can regard their ideas as either forerunners of globalization or, in some cases, articulations of globalization under another name. Without belaboring the point, we believe that in social science there is really nothing new under the sun and whatever is old becomes new again.
In The Primitive World and its Transformation and Peasant Society and Culture, Redfield developed earlier ideas of his regarding peasant society and modernization. Essentially, he noted that in the capitalist world snared all communities within its web of economic activity with those, at what world systems theory, terms the core at its center and those at the center's mercy, the periphery, serving the goals of the center. Thus, even those who appear to be in a self-sufficient and far-off community feel the pull of the center and are at its mercy.
Simply put, Immanuel Wallerstein's concept of world system theory states there is a world system comprised of core, peripheral, and semi-core nations. The system is a result of capitalism. The core nations always benefit more from the capitalist controlled world system. Moreover, just as an individual's beliefs and actions are a product of that individual's place in the social, cultural and economic system so, too, is a nation's actions the results of its place in the world system.
Closely related to world systems theory is dependency theory. Vincent Ferraro provides a clear and detailed discussion of this theory and concludes "In short, dependency theory attempts to explain the present underdeveloped state of many nations in the world by examining the patterns of interactions among nations and by arguing that inequality among nations is an intrinsic part of those interactions". Capitalism gives the core nations unequal power over the peripheral nations.
As noted with Redfield, anthropologists have had some influence in the development of these theories which have contributed to globalization theory. George Foster in his later work (for example, Traditional Cultures: and the Impact of Technological Change) addressed the way in which the increasing prosperity of developed countries affected traditional cultures, usually to serve the needs of those countries. These changes are not only technological but effect changes in daily life, including those in the family.
Oscar Lewis developed the concept of the culture of poverty, which influenced American programs seeking to end poverty. The book and others that followed produced a great deal of controversy. Lewis posited that the poor were less motived than others and that the culture resulting from poverty helped perpetuate that condition. Despite its obvious weaknesses, the theory led many to focus on poverty and its causes within the world system as well as poverty's role in family relationships.
Eric Wolf examined very closely the way power came into play in European history between the powerful and weaker societies. His work was critical both of anthropology and American foreign policy. It noted the way traditional societies were disrupted and put to the service of more powerful ones, with some local agents aligning with the more powerful nations to enforce their power in local communities.
Finally, the work of Ruth Benedict, cut short by her relatively early death at 61, began to focus on power relationships and distortions of local cultures. She began to look at societies with high and low synergies and their consequences. Synergy can be defined as "two or more things working together to create something that is bigger or greater than the sum of their individual efforts". Benedict saw high synergy cultures as those which aided individuals reach their highest potential of satisfaction and happiness. On the other hand, low synergy cultures saw happiness and satisfaction concentrated in a few hands. This is like the world systems theory and other concepts dealing with core and periphery cultures.
The salient ideas of each of these viewpoints are found in the concept of globalization. Essentially globalization is the opposite of the greatest good for the greatest number. It favors the nations at the core and the individuals within that core with the greatest power. It is not about improving the lives of all. As it is set up it cannot be about that. It changes traditional lives to fit within the system. But it holds out a hope that to succeed people must change their practices to mirror those at the core. And that brings us back to child-rearing, the start of shaping future generations.
What Walter Y. Kiang wrote about globalization and the family in Taiwan is equally true for Nigeria, and we suspect, other developing areas in the world.
During the last several decades, the stability of the family has been seriously threatened. The divorce rate has risen sharply, the number of single parent families has increased dramatically, and large numbers of young people have left their families and migrated from rural areas to larger towns. Reports of child abuse and juvenile delinquency have increased, and children and youth have often had no place to turn for guidance
In Nigeria, however, the process has been going on for several centuries as part of the spread and development of colonialism and capitalism.
Peter N. Stearns writes that proponents of the new global history argue that "the new phenomenon involves exceptionally far reaching recent change." It allows scholars to note how globalization affects various parts of a culture, like childhood and in turn how children affect modernization and globalization. Moreover, globalization provides a challenge to historians of childhood since it provides an opportunity for global comparison of childhood, especially highlighting similarities and differences. Nigeria presents a clear area where these two objectives may be pursued It has been at the center of globalization processes long before the term came into vogue and its cultures and peoples have been studied for centuries by Nigerians and others, including its children and childhood in general.
Phil Okeke makes a significant point. He argues that what we have in Nigeria is neither modern nor traditional. It is a reconfiguration of tradition. He notes, "Over time, tradition often undergoes various social, economic, and political processes which not only give it legitimacy but also transform it at every stage." Traditions are not unchanging. Indeed, it is of their very nature to change. Moreover, they are used to keep those who are in power a means to stay in power. In Nigeria, that has been to keep men in power over women. Tradition while always changing appears to be unchanging so that it may keep its powerful hold socially, politically, and economically.
These facts must be kept in mind as we discuss "traditional" child-rearing and the way globalization has transformed it. There is no simple before and after here but a trajectory from what was to what is and what is becoming. So, the basic question her is what do I mean by "traditional". After all, all cultures in all places always are always changing. As Heraclitus said, "Everything change but change itself. Everything flows and nothing remains the same. You cannot step twice into the same river, for other water and yet others go floating ever on." Therefore, we need to be aware that traditional does not mean fixed and unchanging.
If not fixed and unchanging, then, what does it mean? It can mean pre-colonialism, pre-globalization, or something similar. However, we know that no area has been totally isolated from outside influences. Certainly, that is quite true of Africa which has had contact with outside areas since prehistoric times. Additionally, Africa was the cradle of civilization and had its own mighty empires. Thus, what do we mean by that one word, traditional? For our purposes, we suggest we move to the concept of "perception".
If people perceive certain practices to be "traditional", something that has "always" been done and as being part of their own and their group's identity, then it is traditional for them. We realize we are dealing with the social construction of reality here. We do so consciously and with no apologies. Indeed, we would argue that in a very real sense all people in their lives, beliefs and practices straddle traditional and non-traditional eras. Some of our practices are traditional - the way our people have always done things. Others are modern, something new, resulting from cultural changes. Yes, and some are in-between, a mixture of the two. In Victor Turner's terminology, betwixt and between and maybe a bit magical for all that.
We argue further that no two people view traditional in the same way or modern for that matter. No two families in the "same" social group, sharing the "same" culture, are exactly alike. They certainly may be similar, share ideas and practices, and recognize each other as members of the same group. But remember all things always change and at different rates. Leading us again to the question of what we mean by traditional and modern.
For convenience, then, let us say that in Nigeria "traditional" is associated with what is "African" while "modern" is regarded as "European". Of course, we will come back to the role of globalization in forming both African and European as well as attitudes associated with each term. For now, let us agree that if a Nigerian believes his or her actions regarding child raising are traditional then we shall accept them. Similarly, if a Nigerian believes that certain child raising practices are modern, then we shall also accept them. We hold that there will be broad agreement on what is traditional and what is modern even though child raising has undergone sea changes in Africa over time and what is traditional today is very different from what was so 500 years ago. Globalization was at work, along with the normal flow of change, long before it received its name. Some say the idea, not the term, goes back to Columbus. Others note Karl Marx's use of the term and his discussion of it. The term has been developed in general academic discourse since the 1970s. However, its impact goes back much farther than that to classical times as people met one another. This contact led to changes in all aspects of culture, including child rearing.
Traditional Yoruba Child Rearing
The Yoruba are in south western Nigeria. There are about twenty-five million Yoruba. They "inhabit an area that stretches about 120 miles along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, east from the Benin border, to about 200 miles inland into the savannah belt of West Africa". The Yoruba pride themselves on being an urban people. Their cities are famous and were well-established before colonialism. Nine of their cities have a population over 100,000 and their urbanization rate is between 60 to 70%. Moreover, southwestern Nigeria has over 50% of Nigeria's industries (Federal Republic of Nigeria and UNICEF 1990).
Among the Yoruba descent groups or lineages are the basis for of the family and of group loyalty. The have a core patrilineal descent group, permanent right of membership, a chief and a compound with key regulatory functions. As LeVine, Klein and Owen put it "The descent group holds title to land and controls its distribution among members." It also has "its own praise songs, and sometimes hereditary occupations."
In common with many other Nigerian groups, the Yoruba have a seniority system. Generally, descent is from a male. However, Jeremy Eades notes some groups with cognatic descent. The group adds new members by birth order. Because the dead remain members, the group in theory never dies and members retain their positions after death. There is variation in these groups depending upon how much common property and other material, titles and such, is to be controlled. Additionally, as Guyer and Gugler and Flanagan note the group may settle disputes among members and its tasks and power are fluid, adjusting to circumstances and demands.
The importance of the lineage and seniority is not the only link Yoruba have. There is numerous age, religious and occupational associations to which Yoruba men and women belong. Both Aronson and Eades refer to the significance of these associations. Both traditionally and currently Yoruba families have taught and still teach children the vital need to know these ties - familial, religious, occupational, and age groups as well as civic associations.
Traditionally, Yoruba compounds were composed of patrilineal-patrilocal groups. These formed extended families. Traditionally, each group was headed by the senior male. He and other males were polygynous. Therefore, each wife had to have a separate room in the compound. These houses within the compound were rectangular and sing story. Fadipe states that "originally" these rooms were windowless.
Although women had some autonomy, working with other women as her own supervisor or at her own craft. She also may engage in trade and sell her husband's crops at market. She can keep her own money, contributing, of course, to family costs. However, men have greater seniority over women and men were in control of the compound. They control the organization and running of the compound. Moreover, they can have more than one wife while women are not.
The strong conflict that can arise between men and women was brought to my attention in Yauri in Northern Nigeria. We were told that Yoruba women were berating Yoruba men while dressed as men. On inquiry, we found that this was a yearly ritual of reversal in which women let off steam about the humiliations and insults slights and problems with men over the past year. It is part of complex of rituals Gluckman referred to as rituals of reversal. In common with rites should as those which marked the Feast of Fools (April Fool's Day), Gluckman held that such rituals "by allowing people to behave in normally prohibited ways, gave expression, in a reversed form, to the normal rightness of a particular kind of social order." In sum, it allows those at a power disadvantage to show their displeasure, let off steam, and reassert the usual order of things. And the usual order of things is that men have the power in traditional Yoruba families. The father is owed respect and honor. Moreover, according to Simi Afonja men represent culture and women nature in the Yoruba system. Culture is superior to nature and controls it.
Traditionally, responsibility training was an essential component of child-rearing. Among the Yoruba it continues to be so. The methods for doing so have not changed much. Parents allocate household duties to children. They also send them on errands to gain a wider knowledge of Yoruba culture and society. These errands include fetching objects, purchasing items, carrying messages among many other tasks. These tasks among other methods are aimed at proving the child with a good character.
A good and gentle character will aid a child in her or his future life. It helps ensure the family's good name. Two Yoruba proverbs come to mind in relationship to this goal "Good character is sufficient armor against any untoward happening in life. Anyone who wears it need fear nothing." Yoruba also believe in maintaining one's character. Hence the saying "Honor can leave from the house of a person. Beauty can leave from the body of a person. However, a person's character will go with a person to the grave."
To have a successful life, one seeks to develop gentleness (iwa pele). This concept represents the growth of beauty and depth of character from within. By our actions and interactions, we demonstrate that we are in harmony or balance with our being and the universality of traditional way of life showing respect to all as part of the harmony of creation. Iwa pele enable one to understand the importance of responsibility as well as the consequences that come from positive or negative actions.
The key virtues of good character are integrity, objectivity, a good heart, honest, and dependability. Child-rearing seeks to inculcate these virtues into children, male and female. The entire kinship group close and distant helps rear the child. The apt Yoruba proverb is "Only one person gives birth to a child but many people take part in its rearing."
The result of a good character in developing an inner peace, resilience, and a good reputation helps build good social relations as well as a strong and righteous society for posterity. These worthy social relations help to build a strong and righteous community for one's children and their children. The Yoruba prefer to rear children who can make individual decisions within the context and understanding of the world they live in and who do what is universally correct rather than have children who simply act in arbitrary ways in conformity to personal standards or standards of special groups.
Yoruba is the second largest language group in Africa, consisting of over 20 million people. In common with the Hausa, many Yoruba groups were not united under one ruler. There were at least twenty-five separate groups encompassed under the linguistic and cultural term Yoruba. Indeed, there were differences between any one Yoruba group and each of the others. The common bond among the Yoruba peoples is the central role ritual plays in Yoruba life in everyday life as well as for special occasions. Among Nigerians, Yoruba are known as a religious people, specialists in religion who have the most elaborate beliefs and ritual found in the area. In fact, the Yoruba seem capable of holding many contradictory religious beliefs in the heads at the same time. Similarly, their ritual is notable for its transmutative quality. It can adapt to any circumstance and improvisation is its keynote. Performers and spectators often appear to swap places during the ritual performance. In sum, the Yoruba can and do embrace contradictory ideas that are "this" and "that too."
By all accounts and universal Yoruba belief, Ife was the first of the Yoruba cities and is the sacred center of Yoruba belief and ritual. Although Oyo and Benin are younger cities, they became kingdoms while Ife remained a city-state. Oyo and Benin, as did other Sudanic centers, based their expansion on trade and their ability to control trade. Despite granting religious and cultural prominence to Ife, however, Yoruba gave their political allegiance to their individual cities, regions, or kingdoms. Each city regarded other Yoruba cities as foreigners. In fact, as is so often the case, the very name for the people, Yoruba, came from another ethnic group. In this case, it was the Hausa.
Yoruba culture, an urban-based system, spread throughout much of West Africa. Indeed, the Yoruba prided themselves on their urbanity. Of course, each of its cities depended on a widespread system of productive farms. These farms enabled the Yoruba to develop great art and crafts, such as bronze casting, music, and decorations. Their religious ideas and practices spread very quickly. For example, their divination system called ifa is still found in areas, which the Yoruba do not control.
Throughout the world colonial powers created situations that led to the emergence of new or newly defined ethnic groups. People reacted to the exigencies of the colonial situation through forming groups that protected their situations or that enabled them to seek a better position in the novel reality of colonial political, social, economic, and religious life. The Zulu and Sotho, for example, materialized from the conditions of British colonialism in South Africa. The Yoruba, a collection of warring and disparate peoples speaking related languages and sharing core traditions, found it expedient to shape a common identity to interact with other similar created identities in the colonial situation of Nigeria.
But we can go beyond this profoundly simple fact. Social actors, no matter how cynical, like stage actors, often inhabit their roles so completely that they become this role. We find people seeking to distinguish themselves from their fronts or social selves. They may bring family pictures to work or play music they particularly like there, even if it is not what others may like. Whatever the means, there is an attempt to fight the capture of their innermost selves from their social fronts. But anyway, the two may merge. Perhaps, one has become so socialized that there is little difference between the two. Or there may be great reward in being one with those whom other admire. The feedback process has a great deal to do with the overall process of identity formation and identification.
The colonial authority had culturally mummified "tradition" via historical acts of promulgation. Abner Cohen, however, has drawn attention to another aspect that is more subversive. His work has been concerned with the powerful forces of culture, through music and dance performance, in mobilizing a popular awareness of underlying political and economic interests. Such performances may be considered as collective representations in a Durkheimian sense. They express and promote the growth of a certain confidence, a mutual credibility; a gathering will to succeed that is as relevant to understanding subversive popular movements as it is to be understanding the dynamics of the market in the mainstream domain of economics.
In his analysis of the Hausa community of Sabo, Cohen argues cogently that the group reestablished its solidarity through its recognition of and adherence to a form of Islam, as the reference to ethnic solidarity became increasingly less viable. Cohen demonstrates how a group may reconstitute itself on different bases, how new identities are fore fronted to maintain cohesion, and how this new focus can become a basis for mobilization and transformation of the community. In his analysis of the Hausa community of Sabo, he argues cogently that the group reestablished its solidarity through its recognition of and adherence to a form of Islam, as the reference to ethnic solidarity became increasingly less viable.
Ethnic identity is a type of political identity. It is a means of mobilizing support to attain perceived goals, support which calls upon the principle of ethnicity, or presumed common descent. That it changes over time to suit various situations has been established in numerous places. The changes of colonialism and globalization have challenged the Hausa and the Yoruba to find ways to adapt to global changes. The fact that "the Hausa" are truly a conglomeration of once separate ethnic groups is a strong indication of a group to change to meet new conditions.
As F. Salamone and V. Salamone have shown kirki is a dominant value in Hausa society. Consequently, each stage of Hausa child-rearing is geared toward guiding the child toward progressing toward the perfection of that virtue as an adult. Similarly, the Yoruba concept of iwa pele leads the Yoruba child toward achieving and demonstrating characteristics associated with it as an adult and at each stage of human development. Wei Wang and Linda L. Viney support the developmental hypothesis put forward here in general support of Erikson's processual and developmental psychosocial theory. It also supports Margaret Mead's overall view of child-rearing; namely, that cultures have a view of the ideal adult, shaped by their society's needs and their adaptations to those needs. It was a view, which Ruth Benedict strongly influenced.
Kirki functions multivocally within Hausa culture. It is clear, indeed, an identity marker between' Hausa and others. Moreover, it is a measure of "Hausaness" within Hausa society. Simply, those who exhibit more kirki are somehow more Hausa. Although a Hausa exhibits kirki through behavior, they see no dichotomy between thinking about morality and actual behavior as the proverbs above demonstrate. Behavior springs from the presence or absence of kirki. Those who have kirki will behave in a responsible and gentle manner. Those who do not will be banza (worthless) and their behavior will approach that of groups least like Hausa. Over the course of the lifespan, a Hausa learns more about the meaning of kirki. There is an appropriate kirki for each stage of life and for each position on the social scale. Moreover, there is an appropriate kirki for each gender and each status within that gender - parents, grandparents, widows, divorced women, prostitutes, businessmen or women, ad infinitum. Kirki has many manifestations that stem from one source.
The Hausa in discussion come enticingly close to confounding kirki with the Hausa soul, life force, or "genius." In a manner close to Kohlberg's conceptualization, Hausa see a progressive development of moral thinking. Unlike Kohlberg, they see that thinking as intrinsically applied to moral behavior. Behavior flows from a state of being and thinking (Barewa tayi gudu danta yayi rarrape). Moral thinking revolves around the guiding theme of kirki. It is an organizing and referential theme. It mobilizes appropriate behavior and all behavior is referred to it for evaluation. Thus, when thinking about themselves Hausa assess their identity in terms of its fit with the demands of kirki.
We conclude that Erikson is radically correct in his contention that all development is ego development or it is nothing. Nevertheless, we also maintain that ego development must be empirically understood or it is a meaningless generality. Certainly, for Hausa ego development, their sense of identity involves increasing ties of relationship, multiplying bonds rather than moving toward independence. Moreover, Erikson's eight stages do not fit the realities of Hausa society, either today or in the past. The only way in which they could fit them would be to make a Procrustean bed of them. However, the fact that there is an emically derived view of progressive development strengthens the overall position of developmentalists. Certainly, the fact that Hausa also posit separate development stages for males and females also lends support to Gilligan and others who view many development theories as androcentric. The Hausa data suggest that their own global theories are not universally applicable as stated but the fundamental issue of separate development emically defined is the crucial one in our view.
In sum, examination of the Hausa theme kirki suggests that the concept of developmental stage is more than a Western construct indiscriminately applied to indigenous cultures. These cultures have their own views of development that perceive it as a progressive series of stages. Certainly, Erikson's and Kohlberg's global theories require significant modification before application to indigenous cases is possible or profitable. However, the Hausa do see development as leading to greater self-knowledge; that is, identity. They define identity more communally than Erikson. Moreover, they do appreciate moral cognitive development as an unfolding of understanding and thinking about moral issues. These issues tend to concern kirki. Nonetheless, they do not distinguish between thinking about kirki and exhibiting its influence in behavior. Kirki speaks to a person's essence, in a rather Platonic fashion, and a person (male or female) behaves according to his or her essence and cannot help doing so.
The Hausa data also suggest that female cognitive moral development parallels but is different from male development. Again, it is necessary to reiterate that specific Western theories of Gilligan and Belenky among others are not directly applicable to indigenous cases. However, the indigenous Hausa categories are univocal in supporting those who contend in the need to attend to separate, but related, development schemes for male and female.
Finally, the Hausa data are clear in asserting the need to heed relational elements in development. Erikson terms his theory a psychosocial theory of development. Yet he argues that ego development requires disentanglement from relationships. Granted that it can be argued that an individual must disentangle from unthought-of about relationships so that (s)he can enter relationships in a conscious manner. But the emphasis is nonetheless on the individual. Attention to indigenous systems sensitizes us to the value of culturally defined relationships and the way these enter day-to-day relationships .
We all live in the present. We all merge aspects of the old and new, past, present and future. Others may put labels on behavior as modern, pre-modern, or post-modern. Cultures are always changing, never standing still. Societies seek to survive and use culture as an aid in the process. To stagnate is to die out.
African cultures are no different from others in that regard. The Yoruba and the Hausa may share their identities with past generations. However, the meaning of these identities and their contents have had to change by necessity. They are just as capable of people in London or New York at adapting to their social, economic, and cultural environments. Indeed, they often are in London, New York, Paris and points north, south, east, and west of these metropolises. It is a serious error to hold Africans as living in the past and being somehow incapable of being effective in the 21st century.
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