Decolonization & Independence in Kenya, 1940-93

By B. A. Ogot; W. R. Ochieng | Go to book overview

Eight
The Construction
of a National Culture

B.A. OGOT


Culture and Development: A Shifting Focus

The histories of most societies indicate that, in working out developmental priorities, the sequence is usually from the economic and technological priority to social concerns and finally to cultural problems. The predominant emphasis on output goals, such as capital formation and the raising of gross national product (GNP), soon leads to problems of social justice: equity and human rights. In other words, the reckless pursuit of wealth, unaccompanied by broader social objectives, aggravates social tensions and generates disharmonies and conflicts which are bound to have unsettling effects on the social order. Often, during these first two stages of development, the cultural objectives of development are either left undefined or stated in very general and vague terms. It is usually when the forces of destabilization are unleashed that societies are forced to show more concern for culture. This normally means making an attempt to find an alternative approach to development, and a realization that the concept of development itself is value-loaded. In short, it is during this third stage that societies realize that the development paradigm is not an economic matter but a cultural one.

With the attainment of political independence, Kenya, like other African countries, was preoccupied with the question of modernizing and developing the new nation. Development as a process and an objective was interpreted to mean modernization, defined largely in economic terms. Culture was not accorded a central place, either as a goal or as an instrumentality. It was still believed that traditional values and institutions were incompatible with modernity. Economic growth and development were of such paramount importance that tradition and social institutions that stood in the way of the attainment of these objectives had to give way.

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Decolonization & Independence in Kenya, 1940-93
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Contributors viii
  • Prologue on Decolonization xi
  • Notes xvii
  • Introduction the Invention of Kenya 1
  • Note 3
  • Part One the Decolonization of Kenya 1945-63 5
  • One Decolonization: A Theoretical Perspective 7
  • Conclusion 21
  • Notes 22
  • Two the Formative Years 1945-55 25
  • Conclusion: Towards an Alternative Future 43
  • Bibliography 44
  • Three: The Decisive Years 1956-63 48
  • Part Two the Kenyatta Era 1963-78 81
  • Four Structural & Political Changes 83
  • Conclusion 106
  • Appendix: Constitutional Amendments Under Kenyatta 107
  • Notes 108
  • Five - Social & Cultural Changes 110
  • Conclusion 143
  • Notes 144
  • Part Three the First Nyayo Decade 1978-88 149
  • Six the Economics of Structural Adjustment 151
  • Conclusion 182
  • Notes 183
  • Seven the Politics of Populism 187
  • Notes 213
  • Eight the Construction of a National Culture 214
  • Part Four Epilogue 1989-93 237
  • Nine Transition from Single-Party to Multiparty Political System 1989-93 239
  • Conclusion 259
  • Notes 260
  • Index 262
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