Conflict between traditional and western Culture on Contemporary Ghanaian Society

A Case Study of Ama Ata Aidoo's "The Delimma of a Ghost"


Studienarbeit, 2020

58 Seiten


Leseprobe

Table of content

Declaration Fehler! Textmarke nicht definiert

Acknowledgement

Dedication

CHAPTER ONE
Introduction
Background to the Study
Statement of the Problem
Main Objective
Specific objectives Fehler! Textmarke nicht definiert
Research Questions
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study
Limitation of the Study
Organisation of the Study
Definition of Terms

CHAPTER TWO - LITERATURE REVIEW
Introduction
Definition of culture
Types of Culture
Material Culture
Nonmaterial Culture
Characteristics of Culture
Culture is Learned, not a Biological Inheritance
Culture is symbolic
Culture is Dynamic
Culture is a set of Shared Ideals, Values, and Standards of Behavior
Sense of Community Life
Sense of Good Human Relations
Sense of Hospitality
Sense of the Sacred Religion
Culture is Continuous and Comprehensive
Causes of Culture Changes
Changes are an inherent aspect of culture
Invention
Discovery
Diffusion
Environment
Acculturation
African Culture and Values
Social Values
Moral Values
Religious Values
Political Values
Negative Impact of Western Civilisations on Contemporary Ghanaian Society
The Challenge of Worship
Communication Barrier
High Rate of Divorce
The Challenge of Education and Technology
Brief Profile of Dilemma of the Ghost
Conceptual Framework of Western Civilizations and Contemporary Culture

CHAPTER THREE
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Introduction
Research Design
Population
Sampling Method
Research Instruments
Data Collection procedure
Mode of data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR
RESULT AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Data Presentation and Analysis
4.3 Demographic Characteristics of Respondents

CHAPTER FIVE
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Introduction
5.3 Conclusion
5.4 Recommendations

Abstract:

This study generally examines the effect of investigating conflict between traditional and western culture on the contemporary Ghanaian society, a case study of Ama Ata Aidoo’s the Dilemma of a Ghost. The primary objective is to throw light on the strength, weakness of the Ghanaian contemporary culture and conflict resolution, how the traditional culture has been affected by the Western culture. The population of the study consists of Techiman Traditional Council, Assemblymen, religious bodies and the media in the Bono East Region of Ghana. The study employed descriptive research design and purposive sampling technique for the data gathering. The finding of the study shows a negative impact of western civilisation on contemporary Ghanaian society, implying that Colonialism distorted and retarded the peace and tempo of Ghanaian culture growth. It was also noted that Ghanaian societies lost the power and sense of cultural continuity making it practically impossible for their recovering and progress. It was therefore concluded that there is a conflict between the Ghanaian contemporary culture and that of the western culture whereby the western culture is dramatically taking over the home culture of Ghana basing the case study on the Dilemma of a Ghost.

Acknowledgement

We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Almighty God for giving us good health, retentive memory and special protection throughout the period of the project. We further wish to thank the authorities of the University, more so the Deans of the various Faculties. We are also appreciative of the encouragement, patience and charge free suggestions and guidance offered to us by our supervisor, Mr Gabriel Kwame Ankrah. The effort of any other person who has contributed to the success of this work is highly appreciated.

Dedication

This work is dedicated to our Lord God Almighty, our families, parents, friends and to our supervisor Mr Gabriel Kwame Ankrah

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

This chapter shall deal with very contextual phenomena of the fundamentals of the study. The chapter shall examine crucial areas like: background to the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, research objectives, research questions, and significance of the study, limitation, delimitation of the study and organization of the study.

Background to the Study

Ghana, formerly the British colony of the Gold Coast, assumes a special prominence as the first African country to acquire independence from European rule. Ghanaian politicians marked this important transition by replacing the territory's colonial label with the name of a great indigenous civilization of the past. While somewhat mythical, these evocations of noble origins, in combination with a rich cultural heritage and a militant nationalist movement, have provided this ethnically diverse country with unifying symbols and a sense of common identity and destiny. Myriad years of political and economic setbacks since independence have tempered national pride and optimism. Yet, the Ghanaian people have maintained a society free from serious internal conflict and continue to develop their considerable natural, human, and cultural resources. The socio-cultural evolution in Africa in one way or the other has provoked development and crisis as well. Most of the time, the crisis generated are intolerable at the extreme, antagonistic and provokes war. The various conflicts which greeted the coming of white-man in many parts of Africa were eloquent enough to this. Some harmful Cultural practices were abolished and Africans were given formal education. The existence of culture is aimed at aspects of culture. The rate of cultural advancement in a given society depends on the level of meeting the needs of the physical and social environment. Virtues and values are important and indispensable that society’s moral value or virtues of consciousness. A critical look at the Western influence on African culture shows both good and bad influences. This has made much of African native culture give way to the European culture. Either by design or accident, Africans have imbibed the Western culture and have appropriated it so much that it now becomes almost part and parcel of their lives. Rode (1983) saw African social problems which emanated from Western influence as one-crop economies, pervasive corruption, spiraling inflation, massive unemployment, over-crowded cities and destitute villages. Obviously, the culture of African people is still undergoing contacts and conflicts which results to a healthier life of the society resulting in an improved social system. However, in the light of the present state of African Culture which Nigeria is included, mismanagement, greed, embezzlement, bribery, tribalism has downplayed the influence of culture on the social system. Culture should act as a watchdog to African social system. This is a clear indication why modern method of birth control as abortion has been rebuffed in many cultures despite the enormous efforts of its proponents to give it the Best recognition. “Culture” refers to the way a group of people live in a society. Each specific society has its own way of life which is different from other societies. Skinner (cited in Agha, 2014) defines culture as “totality of how people live and behave” (p. 38). Akama (2012) states that culture is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, arts, society” (p. 91). Kluchohn and Kelly (1988) described culture “as all those historically created designs for living, explicit and impact, rational, irrational, which existed anytime as potential guide for behaviors of men” (p. 44). According to Otite and Oginwo (2016) culture is “the complex whole of man's acquisition of knowledge, morals, beliefs, arts, customs and technology, which are shared and Transmitted from generation to generation” (p. 86). Sibani (2014:107) posits that “culture is the entity that incorporates the totality and is synonymous with the people's way of life, transmitted from age to age, generation to generation” (p. 107). Obiajulu (citedin Onwuekwe, 2006) posits that culture is “The sum total of human creations, intellectual, technical, artistic, physical and moral. Culture is the complex part of living that directs human social life. The things each generation must learn and to which they eventually may add” (p. 86). Culture distinguishes human being from other animals, in that human are able to construct patterns of behaviours for themselves, and are able to transmit this from person to person and through generations. The study of culture is the key component of sociology along with the associated notion of socialization, Western civilization and culture began to creep into African socio-cultural milieu, first, with the contact of Europeans with Africa, a consequence of Berlin conference in the quest for imperial pilfering of African resources and, later, consolidated by the unstoppable wave of globalization. It is important to stress that colonialism distorted and retarded the pace and tempo of cultural growth and trend of civilization in Africa. One of the most profound consequences of colonization has been how the political and economic rape of the colonies has also led to what sometimes seem to be an unbridgeable cultural gap between the nations that were the beneficiaries of colonization and those that were the victims of the colonial assault. The era of colonial pillage and plunder led to the relative stagnation and often precipitous decline of traditional cultural pursuits in the colonies. With Africa subjugated and dominated, the Western culture and European mode of civilization began to thrive and outgrow African cultural heritage. Traditional African cultural practices paved the way for foreign way of doing things as Africans became fully ‘westernized’. Western culture now is regarded as frontline civilization. African ways of doing things became primitive, archaic and regrettably unacceptable in public domain. Not only were certain aspects of the material culture in the colonies lost or destroyed, colonial societies also lost the power and sense of cultural continuity, such that it became practically impossible to recover the ability to strive for cultural progress on their own terms. As argued by a scholar: The social fabric was completely devastated and a new culture of violence was implanted. Traditional African systems of conflict resolution were destroyed and, in their places, nothing was given. The democratic process, rudimentary though it was, but with great potential as accompanies every human institution, was brutally uprooted and replaced by the authoritarianism of colonialism. A new crop of elites was created, nurtured, and weaned on the altar of violence and colonialism armed with the structures of the modern state to continue to carry out the art and act of subjugation of the mass of the people in the service of colonialism (Mimiko, 2010:641-42). The above assertion was corroborated by Kasongo (2010:314) when he submits that “one could infer that when westernization was imported to African countries, the hidden side of modernism was materialist interests. Civilization was just another concept of domination: imposition of incoming new culture over traditional cultural values”. It is important to emphasize fundamentally that urgent and more decisive steps need to be taken in order to reorder and reverse this evanescent trend of cultural emptiness, without which Africa may experience seasons of cultural extinction and drought of African values. There is need, therefore, for the flogging of the negative impact of Western civilization and culture on Africa in all foray; the focus of this paper, therefore, is to have a holistic appraisal of accessing Conflict between traditional and western culture on contemporary Ghanaian society: to the extent of distortions and retardation caused to Africa and its pace of development, and also, by the same measure, illuminate into the options that are left for Africa.

Statement of the Problem

Despite the increasing concerns of the National Commission of Culture, National House of Chiefs, institution of chieftaincy, together with its traditional councils as established by customary law and usage, District Assemblies, religious bodies, educational institutions, social groups, voluntary associations, artistic groups and associations, non-governmental organizations as well as the media agencies and institutions, all civil society groups, stakeholders, documents containing our national cultural heritage and history, cultural values and institutions which continue to advocate and engage in dialogue with all Ghanaians to disseminate information and promote understanding of our heritage and cultural practices in order to stimulate public interest in them and assist in the process of conserving and developing and exercising deep influence on the nation’s destiny and play a key role in governance and national life.

Nevertheless, in spite of all these many groups of Ghanaians, some people still perceive themselves as belonging to a common culture (ethnic or religious), and hence are fighting to maintain such culture autonomy. This view is not correct, as it diverts attention from important underlying economic and political factors. Although a person's culture is partly inherited it is also constructed and chosen, and many people have multiple identity. In the nutshell, many people are confused as they cannot tell the exact culture they are currently practicing. This study therefore sought to investigate conflict between traditional and western culture on contemporary Ghanaian society: A case study of Ama Ata Aidoo’s the Dilemma of a Ghost.

Main Objective

The main objective of this study is to assess the Conflict between traditional and western culture on contemporary Ghanaian society.

Specific objectives

i. Identify strength and weaknesses of contemporary Ghanaian culture a case study in the dilemma of the ghost.
ii. Accessing Traditional African systems of conflict resolution that were destroyed, a case study in the Dilemma of a Ghost.
iii. Examine the negative impact of western civilisations and culture on contemporary Ghanaian society a case study in a Dilemma of a Ghost.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

i. What are the various strength and weaknesses of contemporary Ghanaian culture?
ii. What are the Traditional African systems of conflict resolution that were destroyed, case study in a dilemma of a ghost?
iii. What is the negative impact of Western civilisations and culture on contemporary Ghanaian society a case study in a Dilemma of a Ghost?

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The findings from the study shall be significant in various ways. Firstly, it shall be a useful document to stakeholders or educational authorities to be aware of the conflict between western culture and Ghanaian culture. Secondly, policy makers can begin to see the need to reappraise their policies that contribute to the cultural dearth of Africa or the ones that negate the principles of cultural revival documents.

Thirdly, the findings from the study shall enhance Ghanaian cultural life and develop cultural programmes to contribute to the nation’s human development and material progress through heritage preservation, conservation, promotion and the use of traditional modern arts and crafts to create wealth and alleviate poverty. The institution of chieftaincy, together with its traditional councils will find this document for the growth and development of our cultural institutions and make them relevant to human development, democratic governance and national integration.

SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The research work will be conducted at Techiman Traditional council, Assemblymen/women, religious bodies, media agencies in the Bono East Region of Ghana, will be the target population. The scope of the study will focus on Ama Ata Aidoo´s the dilemma of a ghost as a supplementary document on the conflict between western culture and Ghanaian contemporary society “Ama Ata Aidoo´s the Dilemma of a Ghost”

LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

(a) The work is limited to Ama Ata Aidoo’s book ‘The Dilemma of a Ghost”
(b) The work was limited by financial constraints

Organisation of the Study

The study will be structured into five main chapters. Chapter one will cover general introduction including background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives, significance of the study, the scope of the study as well as the organisation of the study. Chapter two shall constitute literature review, devote to both theoretical and empirical concepts of the Conflict between traditional and western culture on contemporary Ghanaian society. Chapter three shall focus on the methodology that will be employed in the study. Chapter four will cover the presentation of data, research findings and discussions. Chapter five shall finally concentrate on conclusion and recommendation

DEFINITION OF TERMS

i. Values as a component of culture are the shared beliefs about what is good or bad,
ii. Right, wrong or desirable which help a group to determine the character of its people and the kind of material and non-material culture they create.
iii. Norms also mean the shared rules of conduct that tell the people how to act in specific situations
iv. “culture” refers to the way a group of people live in a society. Each specific society has its own way of life which is different from other societies

CHAPTER TWO - LITERATURE REVIEW

INTRODUCTION

The chapter examines review of related literature. It is made up of the evaluation of relevant concepts including; types of culture, characteristics of culture, causes of change of culture, African culture and values, negative impact of western civilisation on contemporary Ghanaian society, The challenges of worship, brief profile of Dilemma of a Ghost and conceptual framework of western civilisation and contemporary culture.

DEFINITION OF CULTURE

Culture is defined by Skinner (cited in Agha, 2014) as “totality of how people live and behave” Akama (2012) states that culture is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, arts, society”. According to Otite and Oginwo (2016) culture is “the complex whole of man's acquisition of knowledge, morals, beliefs, arts, customs and technology, which are shared and transmitted from generation to generation. Sibani (2014) posits that “culture is the entity that incorporates the totality and is synonymous with the people's way of life, transmitted from age to age, generation to generation”. Obiajulu (cited in Onwuekwe, 2010) posits that culture is “The sum total of human creations, intellectual, technical, artistic, physical and moral. Culture is the complex part of living that directs human social life. The things each generation must learn and to which they eventually may add” Culture distinguishes human being from other animals, in that human are able to construct patterns of behaviours for themselves, and are able to transmit this from person to person and through generations. The study of culture is the key component of sociology along with the associated notion of socialization, and of social anthropology.

TYPES OF CULTURE

Culture is divided into two broad categories, using such terminologies as Material and Nonmaterial to depict its distinctiveness.

MATERIAL CULTURE

This is the aspect of culture that is observable and overt, relating to the tangible products of art, technology, craftsmanship, industry, skill, etc, which can be seen; or the visible possession of man in society. Examples of material culture include artifacts, such as farm implements such as hoes and machetes, hunting and fishing implements such as guns and traps of different kinds, cooking utensils like pots, knives, tripods plates; these are physical tangible and noticeable culture artifacts of some societies. Thus material culture consists of those objects which people have invented to meet their needs in society.

NONMATERIAL CULTURE

The Nonmaterial aspect of culture, on the other hand, is intangible but is noticeable through the psychological state of the mind and manners of a people. These include such aspect as language, attitudes, morals, values, habits, philosophy, knowledge, principles and conventions. The material and non-material aspects of culture together form the totality of the way of life of a people.

CHARACTERISTICS OF CULTURE

CULTURE IS LEARNED, NOT A BIOLOGICAL INHERITANCE

According to Linton cited in Anderson, 2014) “Culture is learned by growing up with it the process of cultural transmission from one generation to the next is called enculturation.” Culture is a social heritage because it is hereditary and transmissible from one generation to another.

CULTURE IS SYMBOLIC

Akama, (2012) described it as “the most symbolic elements of language functioning in this case as the substitution of words for objects; with language, humans are able to transmit culture from one generation to another.” Language is a very important index of culture. Once one speaks one's native language, it is easy to identify where he or she comes from substitution of words for objects; with language, humans are able to transmit culture from one generation to another.” Language is a very important index of culture. Once one speaks one's native language, it is easy to identify where he or she comes from.

CULTURE IS DYNAMIC

According to Akama (2012), Culture is dynamic because all cultures change overtime, changes take place in response to such events and phenomena as environmental pollution and crisis, intrusion of migrants and cultural diffusions, or modifications in behavior and values within the social system. Arinze (2016) orates that cultural dynamism takes place alongside acculturation, which is the emulation of the objects of one culture by another culture. Acculturation takes place simply by a person or a group of persons beginning to adopt another culture. The people of the culture being imitated may even be unaware of being imitated. Therefore, cultural dynamism is the changing of a culture. This change can be by absorption of new ideas into a culture. It can be by the removal of old ideas or ways of doing things from a culture. For instance, Mary Slessor, a foreigner who lived all her life in Calabar stopped the killing of twins in Nigeria (Arinze, 2016).

CULTURE IS A SET OF SHARED IDEALS, VALUES, AND STANDARDS OF BEHAVIOR

It is the common factor that makes the actions of individuals intelligible to the group and its members. It can be shared and has the capacity to influence any individual knowingly or unknowingly. Those values are important ingredients in the content of culture. They are aspects of cultural practices, objectives or actions that a society holds in high esteem or consider important for its members. They are the goals that make the norm meaningful within the cultural context. For example, norms of a particular society ensure that life which is a value is preserved.

SENSE OF COMMUNITY LIFE

Living together and the sense of Community of brothers and sisters are the basis and the expression of the extended family system. Citing an example of a practical demonstration of this sense of communalism in Nigeria, it is stated that in many parts of Southern Nigeria, most of the earliest educated elites are known to have been sponsored using palm nut products simply to underscore the fact that their communities used the resources of their palm nut products to pay for their studies in the United Kingdom and Overseas.

SENSE OF GOOD HUMAN RELATIONS

This indicates people's ability to relate cordially with one another and tolerate each other, tolerate and endure successive bad governments. Africans have a sense of respect for constituted authority and elders. Sense of Sacredness of Life: African respect life and hold it as sacred. This is a possible reason why legalization of abortion has not been passed into law in any African country.

SENSE OF HOSPITALITY

Africans are very hospitable people. Hence the existence of so many expatriates doing their business without disturbance and molestation in the continent attest to this.

SENSE OF THE SACRED RELIGION

Religion, faith or even creed are personal and should not be discredited, toyed with or dominated. Hence, violent clashes result in any attempt to breach any of these esteems.

CULTURE IS CONTINUOUS AND COMPREHENSIVE

Members of a culture may die but the cultural patterns subsist in time from one generation to another. Also, the impact of culture on its members is comprehensive, without exception. As humans cannot escape death, so they cannot escape cultures' influence and direction of life course.

CAUSES OF CULTURE CHANGES

CHANGES ARE AN INHERENT ASPECT OF CULTURE

No culture remains static. Currently, we are experiencing social and cultural changes on a global scale. According to Uwandu and Nwankwor (2006), culture change must be distinguished from culture dynamism, which refers to just the susceptibility of culture to receive and add to itself certain other cultural values. Culture in itself grows and changes. This occurs over a period of time. Over the years, western culture has indeed accounted for a lot of changes in our culture. There has been such intense Western effort to change the status of women all over the world, most especially in Africa where it is obvious that women are lowly placed in the scheme of things when compared to their male counterparts. Western style of education has been entrenched in our African constitutions, styles of dispensing justice and politics. However, according to Christie (2014), there are diverse factors that lead to cultural change including the following.

INVENTION

This is a process whereby new cultural elements are created, often out of previously existing elements such as the radio, the computers, or the microchips, the telephone, each of which has had a tremendous impact on our way of life.

DISCOVERY

It is a means whereby we recognize or gain a better understanding of already existing elements present in the environment, usually through scientific research. Recent scientific discovery involves the identification of another planet beyond Pluto and amazing discoveries.

DIFFUSION

It is the process through which the traits of culture are transmitted to another. This can take place through trade and other forms of economic exchanges, migration, or wars. Cultural diffusion is more likely to take place and is more intense at border areas where populations of neighbouring cultures are more likely to interact.

ENVIRONMENT

Environment is the surrounding in which a person, animal or plants lives or operates. Basically, we as people have to change to adapt to our environment. As a result, we have to change the way we react to certain situations in our culture. Popoola (2016) says that culture changes because the environment changes. When the environment is stable and does not shift, then the culture stays without changes. Culture also changes because of new found ideas that may seem more beneficial for that way of life. When a culture feels that a way of life is better than the current way then it is likely the culture will adapt to those better ways and incorporate that way into their lifestyle.

ACCULTURATION

According to Suarez, (2013), “acculturation is a process in which members of one cultural group adopt the beliefs and behaviour of another group” Although acculturation is usually in the direction of minority group adopting habits and languages, patterns of the dominant group. Acculturation can be reciprocal, that is, the dominant group also adopts patterns typical of the minority group. Assimilation of one cultural group into another may be evidenced by changes in language preferences, adoption of common attitudes and values, loss of separate political or ethnic identification. Also when alien cultural traits diffuse into a society on a massive scale, acculturation frequently is the result. The culture of the reliving society is significantly changed. However, Obinna (2016) states that acculturation does not necessarily result in a new, alien culture trait completely replacing old ones. An example of acculturation is immigrant to America eating peanut, butter, and pumpkin pie and picking up a southern accent within a day or two. Also, when a large number of immigrates from the same country settle into a new neighborhood. One might witness a change in the way that the people who were original residents dress or speak. Conversely, the new inhabitants may also alter their dress or speech to blend in with their new environment. According to Akama (2012), it also connotes “the constant communication between two or more distinct culture groups during which our group takes on element of the culture of the other group”

AFRICAN CULTURE AND VALUES

Having looked at the concept and meaning of culture and having established the values in a culture, we want to bring this down to the African context. A culture is an embodiment of different values with all of them closely related to each other. That is why one can meaningfully talk about social, moral, religious, political, aesthetic and even economic values of a culture. Let us now look at these values piece-meal, as this would give us an understanding of how they manifest in an African culture and the importance attached to them.

[...]

Ende der Leseprobe aus 58 Seiten

Details

Titel
Conflict between traditional and western Culture on Contemporary Ghanaian Society
Untertitel
A Case Study of Ama Ata Aidoo's "The Delimma of a Ghost"
Autor
Jahr
2020
Seiten
58
Katalognummer
V984001
ISBN (eBook)
9783346339744
Sprache
Deutsch
Schlagworte
conflict, culture, contemporary, society, case, study, aidoo´s, delimma, ghost
Arbeit zitieren
Bismark Adjei (Autor), 2020, Conflict between traditional and western Culture on Contemporary Ghanaian Society, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/984001

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