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Centre of African Studies: Research


Paper Details

Author: Vincent Lockhart

Title: A Social-Historical Study of Social Change among the Banga of Cameroon

Year: 1994

This study, which is based upon my eleven years experience of living among the Bangwa and my research into their history, examines the process of change which has taken place in Bangwa society during the past one hundred years. This study cliams the social changes which affected the life of the Bangwa chiefdoms before, during and after the colonial period were the result of new developments or opportunities in the social, poltical or economic system of relations. While cahnge was a feature of the pre-colonial society, it was normally internally induced and was moderated and controlled by the political and hierachical structure within each chiefdom. What characterises the social changes which occurred from the colonial period onwards was that they were often externally induced. These participants of social change undermined the authority of traitional institutions since they increasingly influenced or controlled the social, political and economic spheres of Bangwa society. Furthermore, in its pursuit of new social, political and economic opportunities, Bangwa society not only became increasingly subject to external agencies but also adopted new patterns of settlement, activity, values and socail awareness. The study concludes that the social changes which have taken place in Bangwa society are part of the process of incorporation into both the developing urban culture and the national economic and political structures of Cameroon.