View the H-Africa Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in H-Africa's November 1997 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in H-Africa's November 1997 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the H-Africa home page.
<firstname.lastname@example.org> Following rather slowly on the recent discussion on "ethnicity" and "tribalism," and prompted in part by mention of ethnicity in the current interesting thread on maps of Africa, I wondered if anyone had made use of the notion of "meta-ethnicity." I've only encountered the term in some English language publications from the former USSR (mid 1980s), but it seems especially interesting as a conter-balance to focus on "ethnicity" in a society like that of Mali where there are well developed customs of interaction and traditional economic specialization among what people from outside would see as separate groups (which may have different languages and distinct customs). The apparent mutability of "ethnic identity" observed by many also hints at such a wider level of identification. As far as maps go, in much of West Africa with "interdigitated" and "mosaic" coresidence of wide areas by diverse groups, perhaps something like "meta-ethnicity" would be a more useful concept than "ethnicity"?