Ethnicity and Class in Ethiopia

Length: 4 Pages 1094 Words

Ethiopia Class and Ethnicity Cultural and ethnic diversity is extremely rich throughout all of Africa, The African continent is comprised of thousands of ethnic groups, class structures, and more than seventy mother spoken languages. The class concept is defined as a group of individuals who share a common status in society based on cultural, political, or economic position in the productive process of society (Schrader 147). Several of the ethnic groups are broken down into sub-group identities and loyalties based on kinship or age-set. Ethnicity, which is a sense of collective identity by which people perceive themselves as sharing a common historical past and a variety of social norms and customs, played a major role in the development of Ethiopia (Schrader 147). Class and Ethnicity, among a host of other elements such as education, played a major role in the impact of the relationships between males and females, the roles of elders and other age groups, as well as legitimate forms of governance and the proper means of resolving conflict. Class and ethnicity emerged as the most important factors in the social and political dynamics of the Ethiopian Revolution. A unique feature of Ethiopian society was the e Continue...


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Also took part in the social struggles. Education is the next leading factor in class structure and ethnicity. Over half the people of Ethiopia belonged to the Christian State Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, whiled many others followed the Islamic faith. The traditional role of Ethiopian women was to take care of the children and keep up with the maintenance of the home. Men generally dominated the political system as well. By the time the revolution got under way many of the old and new social classes coexisted and there were more emerging conflicts due to diverging economic and political interest. In the beginning foreign observers ignored the concept of ethnicity for two key reasons. Social classes and ethnic groups were beginning to emerge with the impact of the economic changes under way and with the creation of small modern agricultural sectors and even smaller industrial sectors. The Tigreans of Tigre and Eritrea, father to the north and the Gallas, were spread throughout the central, southern, and western regions. Ethnic tensions increased a great deal as the revolution progressed and introduced a challenge amongst the established social hierarchy. Political change did not keep pace with social and economic changes. None of these groups were large, but they grew as the modern sector slowly expanded. The struggle for political and economic domination changed and liberation became an issue of concern for ethnic communities. Regional wars have been fought over land, religion, and the desire to acquire or maintain political power (Ethiopia a Country Study 42).

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