Culture and Development

Lecturer: Professor A.K. Awedoba

The course aims at giving the Level 200 student a conceptual appreciation of African culture and enhancing the student's ability to identify and critically evaluate important cultural issues in relation to current modalities and determinants of social-economic
development. Themes for discussion focus on the cultural issues that arise in the quest for socio-political, economic, religious and technological advancement and the need to preserve certain traditional values while pursuing new ones.
The following themes which should provide the students with an aid to independent study will be covered in this course.
A suggested reading list is appended to guide students taking this course. A book written by the lecturer and entitled Aspects of Culture and Development with special reference to Ghana is available in the University Bookshop as well as in the libraries.
Additional reading and course materials not immediately available in libraries will be posted online.

A. Culture and Development: Conceptual Issues and Definitions.
A critical evaluation of some definitions of culture and development as value-oriented concepts.
1. Definitions of culture, characteristics and features associated with definitions.
2. The question of National Culture, specifically Ghanaian culture, ethnic cultures, sub-cultures etc.
3. The question of outmoded customs
4. Definitions of development
5. The question of Millennium Development Goals.
6. Tnterface between culture and development.

B. Culture and National and International Integration
1. The Languages of Africa
2. The Languages and Peoples of Ghana
3. The Issue of National Language and the Debate
4. Ethnicity and National Integration in Africa
5. Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Indices, Unity and Stability as basis for Development

C. The African Family, Relationship and Development
I. The African Family
1. Family structures and Kinship
2. Perceptions of Family as Resource and as bane for development.
3. Systems of Inheritance- Ghana's Laws of Succession (PNDCL 111).
II. African marriage
1. African Norms and typology of marriage forms.
2. Problems of conjugal rights
3. Domestic life and gender Issues - Domestic Violence Laws.
4. Inter-ethnic marriages.
5. Bridewealth systems - the pros and cons

D. Culture, Development and Religion
1. African concepts of Personhood and Divinity
2. Witchcraft, magic and sorcery and development

E. Culture and Economy
1. Concept of exchange
2. The gift and patronage
3. The transformations of gift-culture; the case of bribery and corruption.
4. Transparency indices

(This is a suggested reading list to guide students in their preparation)

  1. Abd al Ati, Hammudah 1977 The Family Structure in Islam. American Trust Publications
  2. Aluko, T. M. 1967 One Man One Wife (African Writers 30) Ibadan: Heinemann
  3. Ansre, G. 1970 Language Policy for the Promotion of National Unity and Understanding in West Africa.' Unpublished (IAS Library)
  4. Apronti, E.O. 1974 Sociolinguistics and the question of a national language -the case of Ghana' in Studies in African Linguistics Supplement 5 p.1-20
  5. Barker, P. 1987 Peoples, Languages and Religion in Northern Ghana, A Preliminary Report. Ghana Envangelism Committee, Asempa.
  6. Bentsi- Enchil, K.1971a Ghana's Linguistic Challenge - What do we do to meet it. Paper presented to Centre for Civic Education, Civic Club Leaders, Tamale.
  7. Bentsi-Enchil, K. 1971b Institutional Challenges of Our Time' J. B. Danquah Memorial Lectures, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences Accra.
  8. Dakubu, M. E. K. (ed) 1988 The Languages of Ghana. London: Kegan Paul International IAI
  9. Fortes, M 1971: The Family: Bane or Blessing? Accra: Ghana Universities Press.
  10. Hagan,G.P.1983: Marriage,Divorce and Polygyny in Winneba,'inC.Oppong (ed) p. 192
  11. Le Page, R.B. 1964 The National Language Question. London: O.U.P.
  12. Nukunya, G. K. 1969 Kinship and Marriage Among the Anlo Ewe. London: Athlone Press.
  13. Ogionwo, W. 1980 We' and They'. A study of Ethnic Stereotypes in Nigeria. Sociologus New Series Vol. 30 No. 2. p. 97-123.
  14. Smock, D.R. 1975 Language Policy in Ghana' in Smock D.R. and Bentsi-Enchill (ed) 1975 The Search for National Integration in Africa. New York: The Free Press p. 161-188.