Discuss colonialism and culture


Colonialism and culture


Colonialism and culture
The civilizing mission of the imperial powers can be seen as an attempt to establish a regime of new ways of thinking and attitudes and bring social harmony among the different i violence, instability, corruption, anarchy and loss of lives.
The following are the socio-cultural consequences of colonialism in Kenya (Africa). African culture was affected by urbanization, Christianity, western education etc.
Western education
The spread of western education was due to the activities of Christian missionaries. This education produced the educated African elite which spearheaded the overthrow of the colonial system and constituted the bulk of the civil service of independence African states.
Education also provided a Lingua franca - the mother tongue of the metropolitan country become the official language and medium of communication among the numerous multi-ethnic populations.
Education provided individual merit and achievement, which facilitated social mobility.
It also led to employment opportunities, production of cash crops, abolition of slavery and new social structure divided into the educated and illiterate, rural and urban dwellers, rich and poor.
The urban dwellers became stratified into 3 sub groups, elite administrative - clerical - professional bourgeoisie, the sub-elite and the workers (urban proletariat)
(Adv Boahen, 1987, 104)
The rural population became sub divided into rural proletariat or the (ahoi) landless peasantry and peasants. These stratifications have been maintained in Kenya since 1963.
Modern facilities - All modern facilities e.g. schools, hospitals, street lights, radio postal services and most employment opportunities were concentrated in the urban areas. The combination of modern life and employment pulled rural dwellers, especially the youth and those with schooling to the cities. Those social services were inadequate and unevenly distributed.
The educated elites - Educational facilities were so limited and unevenly distributed because education was not really meant for the benefit of Africans themselves but “to produce Africans who would be more productive for the colonial system.”
The curriculum provided by these schools - Alliance, Maseno was not relevant to the needs and aspirations of Kenyans.
The elites produced by these schools were people who were mostly alienated from their own society in terms of their dress, outlook and tastes in food, music and dance.
They worshipped European culture, equality it with civilization are looked down upon their own culture hence the talk of miseducation rather than education.
Emphasis on liberal education and neglect of technical education created in educated Africans a contempt for manual work and an admiration for white collar jobs.
In addition, the use of metropolitan language e.g. English in Kenya as the lingua franca prevented the development of an official African language as a lingua franca.
Women - Another social impact of colonialism that still goes on today in Kenya was the downgrading of the status of women. There are still few facilities for girls than boys. Women can thus they cannot gain access into, the professions such as medicine, law, the bench and civil service. Very few are appointment to any big post. The colonial world was a man’s world and women were not able to play any meaningful role in it except as petty traders and farmers.
Negative perception of culture
The colonial administrators, missionaries and African elite and condemned everything African culture e.g. African names, music, dance, art, religion, marriage, system of inheritance - and they completely discouraged the teaching of all these things in their schools and colleges. Even the wearing of African clothes to work or school was banned, all these retarded the development of the continent (Kenya).
Colonial mentality (Psychological)
This was the creation of colonial beliefs among educated Africans. This manifests itself in the condemnation of anything traditional the preference for imported goods, the style of dress such as the wearing of 3 piece suits in a climate where temperatures are very high, the beliefs that all public property and finance belong to the government and should be taken advantage of at the least opportunity hence corruption and mis-use of public funds and property.
Ostentations and flamboyant lifestyles especially on the elite and business class - while the colonialists taught their colonial people the protestant work ethic (self-denial) and the drive for worldly success, they did not give us the spirit of frugality and little consumption. We were only taught to make money not “make money but do not spread it, which was the commercial imperative operating within the protestant ethic.
Money economy
The money replaced the barter economy. With the use of cash, the status of the individuals in society came to be and is still determined by the amount of money you are able to accumulate, not by your birth, age or the number of wives or children.
jerop5614 answered the question on January 9, 2019 at 08:44

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