What is the problem of ethnicity in Africa?
Claude Ake, 1
The first articles in this issue of Transformation broach the subject of ethnicity which has become increasingly salient to debates about the future of South Africa. The Nigerian social scientist CLAUDE AKE considers that blanket hostility to expressions of ethnic identity and community in Africa have been misguided. Ethnicity has been a vibrant and legitimate construction of civil society, not simply a manipulated idea from outside. Africa must advance through recognising and working with identities that exist rather than through self-alienation.
Beyond The Ethnic Group: Ethnic Groups, Nation-State and Democracy In Madagascar
D. Tovorena Rakotondrabe, 15
Another contribution from elsewhere in Africa on the question of ethnicity, and federalism, is by the Madagascar historian D. TOVORENA RAKOTONDRABE. He argues that ethnicity in Madagascar is partly artificial, partly a colonial creation but that it has an importance in people’s lives. So does regional identity, which is not the same as ethnicity. His essay is a critique of two dominant political discourses in Madagascar, one of which insists on bolstering the power of ethnically defined regionalism, simply to enhance the role of local elites and party bosses while the other demands total central control. Unity from the top will not build a nation, he argues; regionalism is an essential developmental building-block but it cannot be based on ethnic claims to exclusive legitimacy.
Human Rights And The African Cultural Tradition
T. W. Bennett, 30
T. W. BENNETT considers a somewhat related theme, that of tradition and cultural priorities as and when they clash with basic human rights provision. Can the future South African constitution acknowledge African legal precedents as they have been codified as customary law without doing violence to demands for human rights? He especially concerns himself with the rights of women and children.
International Experiences of Informal Sector Activity and the Lessons for South Africa
Claudia Manning, 51
The informal sector is the site of more and more employment internationally in conditions of mounting formal sector unemployment and poverty. Undesirable-as an ideal option, it must be confronted as a reality. CLAUDIA MANNING surveys critically the international literature, considers its particular relevance to South Africa and looks at policy options.
What Is Fordism? Restructuring Work In The South African Metal Industry
Judy Maller And Barry Dwolatsky, 70
JUDY MALLER AND BARRY DWOLATSKY review the international debate about Fordism and the rise of post-Fordist forms of industrial production. In actually examining the South African metal industry, they find that some of the terms of this debate do not apply and a rigid application of the model will not give an adequate sense of the productivity cul de sac in which South African industry finds itself.
Have We Got A Policy For You? A Rejoinder To Chisholm’s ‘Policy And Critique in South African Educational Research’
Melanie Walker, 41
MELANIE WALKER takes some issue with Linda Chisholm on the availability and possibilities for bringing together the actual practice of schoolteachers with educational research. She argues that more research into actual practice is available and more needs to be made available in order to formulate policy changes in education.