The Dynamics of Ethnicity in a Multicultural Society

  • KP Kurgatt


Ethnicity is sometimes one of the misunderstood cultural aspects of national heritage in Africa. The mere mention of the term ‘ethnicity' or ‘ethnic origin' is apt to elicit negative reactions, basically because only one facet is assumed, namely ‘ethnocentricity', or to use a less anodyne term, ‘tribalism'. Yet there are many other positive facets to ethnicity. For example, ethnicity can be claimed, rightly so, as one aspect of national identity, which enriches Africa's national heritage(s).This paper attempts to highlight these dynamics through analyzing how one community, namely, the Nandi, manifests its ethnicity its social construction of reality, the differences in intra-ethnic identities that separate them from their immediate ‘cousins' as well as other neighbors, namely, the Maasai and Luo and the Kenyan nation as a whole. It is hoped that the answers to the above will help us to positively harness ethnic diversity to create a multicultural society at ease with itself

Journal of Language, Technology & Entrepreneurship in Africa Vol. 1 (2) 2009: pp. 90-98

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eISSN: 1998-1279