Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Ethno - Historical Analysis of the Effects of Migration on African Family System

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Ethno - Historical Analysis of the Effects of Migration on African Family System

Article excerpt


The paper is an ethno-historical discourse on the necessity and empirical realities of the migratory trend and its effects on African families/societies. It is clear that while people migrate from one location to another, for personal reasons, these multiple needs have chain effects on both the people and socio-cultural development of the societies. African traditional histories are based more on migration of the people in one form of settlement area or the other and these affect sometimes negatively the family system which was principally extended. Cultural values and norms are being broken or abandoned hence, creating multiple problem conditions in society. The paper articulated the various forms of migration, causes and consequences to individuals and family units and by extension of the society. Some of the identified causes of migration include; poverty, diseases, epidemic, marriage, religion, etc. there are basically some benefits and disadvantages to this trend in every receiving and releasing locations. The paper mainly among other things concludes that migration can be stopped but can be planned for to create positive impact.

Key words: Ethno-historical; Migration; Families; Africans and societies


The discussion of ethno-Historical reality of migration is quite necessary and imperative in human existence and necessity through with the conditions that are changing. The movement from one location to another in search of greener pastures is not new in human history (Charles & Ikoh, 2008). What is new and has not been given adequate scholarly attention is the account of the migrants and emerging changes in the migrant's communities of origin as well as the receiving or host communities. According to Murdock (1999), the natural history of migration starts with the process or issues that causes migrants to move, and then continue to the expected ends or outcome. However, most studies on migration tend to address only the inception of migration, the outcomes of this migration especially as these affects the families from which these migrants steadily leave are ignored. It is generally noted that migration is necessary to boost growth in certain countries or locations. According to David and Allies (2007), Europe needs more migration to boost growth because more individuals will have jobs to help enhance economic development.

In pre-colonial times, migration occurred largely in search of security, new land which are safe for settlement and fertile for farming. Colonial regime altered the motivation and composition of migration by introducing and enforcing various blends of political and economic structures, imposing tax regimes and establishing territorial boundaries. A series of economic and recruitment policies-compulsory recruitment contract and forced labour legislation as well as agreements, were all measures employed to stimulate regional labour migration from Mali, Togo and upper Volta to road networks, plantations and mines in Gold Coast and Ivory Coast (Ojua & Omono, 2012).

Charles (2008) asserted that contemporary patterns of migration in Africa especially in West Africa are therefore rooted in socioeconomic, political and historical - cultural factors which have shaped the direction of development and types of economic activities, and laid bold imprints in society and development policies and programmes on especially international migration. However, migration from, and within the sub-region includes temporary crossborder workers, female traders (especially involvement in cross - border trading), and farm labourers, professionals, clandestine workers and refugees and are essentially intraregional short-term and male dominated, in response to the interdependent economies of neighbouring countries.

Migration's explanatory framework is basically premised on the push-pull factors, theory or hypotheses which fundamentally tend to overemphasize the intent and role of the individual in the migration process. …

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