of a National Culture
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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Publication information: Book title: Decolonization & Independence in Kenya, 1940-93. Contributors: B. A. Ogot - Author, W. R. Ochieng - Author. Publisher: James Currey. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 214.
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