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Title: Continuity and change in the social organisation of the Ibos in London
Author: Jerrome, Dorothy
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1974
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This thesis is the study of the social organisation af an ethnic minority - the Ibos of South Eastern Nigeria - in London. It examines the interaction of major variables in three historical periods, beginning with the early years of Ibo migration and culminating in the period following the Nigeria-Biafra War of 1967-1970. Attention is focussed on the interrelationship of power relations and symbolic action. Activities associated with kinship and marriage are revealed as the forces which sustain the group in changing structural circumstances. In the years preceding the war, the Ibos are a community of students. Financial dependence on kin, and the expectation of a speedy return home, promote conformity to traditional norms of marriage. The following period sees a radical change in social organisation. With the termination of financial support the Ibos become a community of workers, their studies suspended or abandoned. In the face of external pressure relationships within the group are intensified and internal social barriers lowered. A kinship ideology is used to mobilise support for the war effort. The emphasis on unity is reflected in patterns of marriage. In the contemporary period external pressures are absent and individual energies are spent in the promotion of private interests. But an awareness of common interests is apparent in the sphere of kinship and marriage. The senior members of the group strive to ensure that certain standards are upheld in the process of marital selection and legalisation, the conduct of marital affairs and the settlement of disputes. Thus it is seen that the Ibos remain culturally distinct despite economic incorporation in the host society. It is argued, in conclusion, that the study of continuity and change in a particular ethnic group has implications for the perpetuation of minority groups in general.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral