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 existence of well0defined essentially pre-capitalist social classes. Class draws on the Marxist theory and focused on economic position in the productive process of society. There was no other African country like Ethiopia, with its 2000-year-old institution of monarchy, semi-autonomous provincial nobility, and millions of downtrodden peasants. The Marxist though that all capitalist societies could be divided into a property-owning class who dominated society and exploited property, and a lower working class who were forced to accept poor jobs and unsafe working conditions. Social classes and ethnic groups were beginning to emerge with the impact of the economic changes under way and with the creation of sma...