The global ‘order', socioeconomic status and the economics of African identity

Authors: Kamau, Caroline; Rutland, Adam

Source: African Identities, Volume 3, Number 2, 01Oct2005 , pp. 171-193(23)

Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group

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Abstract:

Chronic elitism within Africa has created a two‐tier milieu in which those Africans who are in a position to take advantage of the global economic system often do so at the expense of other Africans. The effects of social class and indicators of individual economic mobility on African identity were thus examined. 213 Kenyans participated in this questionnaire‐based study for structural equation analysis. The main finding was that socioeconomic status (SES) positively predicts individual economic mobility, which then negatively influences African identity concepts, and that the significance of economic concepts for African identity depends on social class. For example, in the high SES group, materialism and cynicism about Africa's future economic global prospects were found to have a negative effect on commitment to the national economy and African identity. The general implication is that anti‐group economic behaviour in Africa (e.g. corruption, worker exploitation) is attributable to individual mobility, as well as to intra‐national and global economic structures.

Keywords: African identity; class; global economics; international trade; upward mobility

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725840500235407

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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