*I wish to thank, without implicating, Harold Abramson, William G. Flanagan, and Linda Lowe for helpful comments.
Particularism in Subsaharan Africa: ‘tribalism’ in town*
Article first published online: 14 JUL 2008
Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie
Volume 12, Issue 3, pages 303–315, August 1975
How to Cite
GUGLER, J. (1975), Particularism in Subsaharan Africa: ‘tribalism’ in town. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie, 12: 303–315. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-618X.1975.tb00051.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUL 2008
- Article first published online: 14 JUL 2008
A model of particularism is proposed that distinguishes bases and levels of identification, association, unions, and organization. It is constructed from the literature on urbanization in Subsaharan Africa and the author's research in Nigeria. The context of ethnicity is described as a set of concentric circles designating the more narrowly or more largely defined ethnic groups ego identifies with, recruits his/her friends from, joins in unions, and supports in formal organizations. Socioeconomic position and religion are seen as alternative bases, each again offering different levels at which to define ‘we’ as against ‘they.’ The model thus focuses attention on both: alternative contents of particularistic attachment and action, and different levels of ethnic, socioeconomic, or religious inclusiveness at which such attachment and action crystallize.