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Bucknell University

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Program Name

Cameroon: Social Pluralism and Development

Abstract

The imminent phenomenon of globalization has been mainly explored in academia through the lens of economics and politics. Little attention has been given to the relationship between this phenomenon and culture, and yet the yield of this relationship could be tremendous as culture determines how individuals operate in our growing globalized world. This research project takes place in Bertoua, the capital of the East Region of the Republic of Cameroon. The country is located in Central Africa, and is often referred as “Africa in Miniature” due to its vast cultural and geological diversity. The focus of the study is on the period of childhood, as this is the period in which one develops their cultural identity. The study seeks to assess children’s current knowledge, practice and learning channels of their own innate culture, other Cameroonian cultures and other world cultures. It also seeks to understand the realities and desires within the local and global cultural intersections. The data was collected through 84 surveys distributed to high school children and 8 interviews conducted with individuals who hold roles that influence the cultural lives of children. The study found that an overwhelming majority of children had knowledge of their own ethnic group culture, a majority had of other Cameroonian cultures, and only about half, had of world cultures. Respectively, the main learning channels were: the village, interaction with individuals from those cultures and the media (television and internet). Lastly, at the local intersection a strong desire for national integration, in other words, respect and harmony between the different ethnic groups is apparent. At the global intersection, the process of cultural assimilation, in which a child adopts other world cultures while sacrificing their own, is apparent. The desire, however, is a process of cultural integration, in which a child integrates in to his own culture, the positive from other world cultures.

Disciplines

African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Education | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Secondary Education | Social and Cultural Anthropology

 

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