Chapter 1 This chapter introduces the audience into an overall summary of African relationships and explains to us the social horizons of the interaction amongst the people. An area called the “ Black Africa” separates and divides between two cultural worlds. Amongst this “Black Africa” region, we can conclude that a cultural community exists.
The concept of global societies explains to us the state of society in the age of globalization. This “Global Society” contains both men and women, and is passed on to many generations, from learning the cultural ways ancestors have passed down, to an overall guide of how to live an everyday life until one dies. It is proven that relationships can exists between the members of two different societies.
There are Seven institutionalized societal relations and they are Kinship, Alliance, Government, Inequality and Equality, Feudality, Association, and Exchange of Goods. These roles are a guide of a superiority and inferiority statuses.
Chapter 2 This chapter opens into the topic of “Power.” Power is an important key factor for an individual or within a group. People with power has an advantage of having a better life than others, to have power is also a key to enjoying the better things in life and survival.
There is such a thing as “power over nature, oneself and others within production; agriculture, animal husbandry, handicrafts, industry, etc…” (Aborisade 34). With power, one can produce an influential affect within a group or individual. In this case, an environmental, and industrial change can result from an individual with power. This chapter concludes with pressure within power such as an individual being a loyal subject within a social relationship and having to resist against an individuals own will.
Chapter 3 This chapter opens into the “Descent from the same ancestor.” Kinship is an importance within the African culture. Kinship network gives power and strength within a group because of the social connections within a group’s individual life.
The kinship system was such an importance within the traditional African culture because they believed in one line that divides into two categories; that could either be the “paternal line or maternal line”(Aborisade 39). The kinship network is important to an individual if that individual is in a lineage that holds power within previous and current generations; it could influence and acquire useful support when needed. Whether past or present, modern African cities now still uses kinship as a way of competition for power.
Chapter 4 This chapter introduces us into “Contracting an alliance.” Marriage between two people shows the importance between the ties of lineage, power, alliance, and politics within the African culture. Marriage in Africa is known to be defined as “the legitimate descendants of the lineage who discharged the matrimonial debt” (Aborisade 72).
A woman bears children for the family to tie the lineage of the family, and possibly gain power, and political alliance. Modern day African society has changed in a sense that marriage is no longer tied to hoes and cattle’s that is defined in bridewealth, but rather cash; and modern day women can hold steady through economic independence. In rural Africa, marriage for lineal alliances continues but less pressure is placed on women having to work for their husbands.
Chapter 5 This chapter introduces us into the “Government.” “African government was always monarchical” (Aborisade 90); like many other cultures, a king or chief is always needed to sustain a political system. These “chiefdoms and kingdoms” (Aborisade 90), were widely dispersed across Black Africa.
The government system is controlled by rulers and subjects and displayed a very noble image within the monarchy. For example, a king would sacrifice himself to prevent a community disaster due to any signs of weakness that is shown within the society. Kings and nobilities were very sacred and held such an important stature for the people.
The rulers would make decisions in public affairs and any external threat, security, or defense. Management of industrial production such as hospitals, medical services and economic infrastructure; would also be managed by a ruler of that region. Within the nineteenth century, a new approach replaced the traditional political system and the “Supreme ruler is the president” (Aborisade 114).
Chapter 6 This chapter addresses to us the “Repetitive and dynamic models” that the “Black Africa” system has informed us about within the last 5 chapters. This chapter focuses on the traditional, colonial and independent models of the political network. As stated within the text, “from the traditional to the colonial model, and from there to the independent model, we see that there is an increase in governmental tasks” (133).
This simply defines the fact that in order for these three factors to exist, the political system has to operate efficiently to maintain the political system effectively. An increase in government task means that services that are economically assessable through; for example, “construction, medical/hospital services and natural resources” (134), obtained for money are increasing economically.
Chapter 7 This chapter covers the topic of “Inequality.” Throughout the ages, inequality has been shown in many different ways. In certain areas of the many kingdoms in Africa, there were many groups that belonged within each kingdom and they were distinguished by names.
This created an inequality, which applies to the four networks of stratification. Caste and classes are determined by being born into a system. These four networks offered different cultures and societal needs as well as each class were classified into a hierarchical group. This chapter concludes that a “relation of superiority is not necessarily a relation to power” (189).
Chapter 8 This chapter focuses on “Dependence relations.” Dependent is relying, needing or having someone or something for aid. Dependence is often unavoidable and dependence is often used within many relationships between people; where it is to gain power, for love, friendship or any kind of relationship. Dependence plays a role in societal relations. Clientship and feudality is expressed in this chapter, in conclusion; “feudal dependence is institutionalized while the dependence of clientship is not” (196).
Chapter 9 “Association” is the key factor in this chapter. Association is defined as “permanent groups of people with organized activities” (220). Association is also a bond and an agreement amongst a group to comply and follow the rules that have been established. If a rule has been violated, actions must take place in order for the violator to be held accountable.
An association is generally a group created for various goals whether it be religious, political, etc, also an association can be a threat to rulers due to its strong beliefs and power to achieve their goals. Associations in modern Africa now are still “outlawed” (230) by rulers and even till today, associations remain on close watch.
Chapter 10 The last chapter of this book talks about the “Exchange of goods.” Exchange of goods is an importance within the social relations because it allows a bond and close interaction between two sides and will develop and create benefits between the two parties. The economic relations between the modern Africans and traditional Africans remain the same as exchange still plays a huge role within the economic network. The selling, benefiting, and trade between two parties remains to gain political and economic power.
In conclusion, the 10 chapters within this book summarize African studies for an audience to be informed about the general culture, political, and economical lives of the African society. Works Cited
Aborisade. Pan Africanism/ Global Connections. n.d.