People of the Zongo: The Transformation of Ethnic Identities in Ghana (Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology)

Enid Schildkrout

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Paperback (320 pages)

Cambridge University Press


Editorial Description

Dr Schildkrout probes questions of ethnicity, religion, cultural change and the African national identity in this study of the immigrant community of Kumasi, Ghana's second largest city. She compares first- and second-generation immigrants - those born in their rural homelands, and those born in Ghana - in terms of their orientation to politics, to kinship, and to community participation. The author explores the meaning of ethnic identity for rural- and urban-born immigrants, and establishes certain generalizations about ethnicity based on these comparisons. The book discusses the issues of migration, particularly interregional migration; the position of the 'stranger'; questions of cultural change in modern Africa; the 'generational gap' in the African context; the questions of citizenship and national identity in Africa today, and the emergence of new identities, regional, national and religious. This book has importance not only as a local case study that gives a full description of West African urban life, but also as a theoretical reconsideration of ethnicity that has application outside the African context.