Area Handbook for Ivory Coast

By T. D. Roberts; Donald M. Bouton et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 16
ATTITUDES AND REACTIONS OF THE PEOPLE

The Ivory Coast is a state, which its leaders are trying slowly to develop into a nation without the disruptions nationalism so often has brought in its train. Most of the inhabitants are uneducated country people, living close to the land, steeped in local tradition and preoccupied with affairs of the family and their own small communities. In comparison, educated urban people with broad national outlooks are few, but their proportion to the entire population is slowly growing, and their influence far exceeds their number. A basic problem of the leadership is to transform diffuse tribal and ethnic loyalties into support for a modern national organization. Tribal attitudes are only slowly disappearing, but the younger generations are questioning the traditional values, and a sense of national entity is gradually emerging.


ATTITUDES TOWARD THE NATION

In a geographical area inhabited by more than 60 ethnic groups and only in recent years considered a distinct political unit, the task of creating a concept of nation is a prime one for the country's leaders. Nation-building demands that all the citizens increasingly identify themselves with one another and at the same time learn to differentiate themselves from citizens of neighboring states. The elite furthered these ends years ago, in the fight for autonomy as opposed to federation and in the 1958 riots against the white-collar workers from neighboring countries. In both instances the motive force was economic. In both, the Ivory Coast was thought of as an economic unit, well-endowed in comparison with the other parts of West Africa. In the postindependence era the nation-building drive has continued to take a largely economic form.

Such an emphasis does not represent a break with the recent past. Political centralization facilitating overall guidance of economic development is a heritage from French rule. Continuing the development of the nation in the pattern followed by the French since the end of World War II, with only a minimum of change, appeals to most members of the small elite--the educated, articulate, politically sophisticated rulers of the country. Acutely conscious of their status and patronizing toward their untutored compatriots, the civil servants, clergy, educators and businessmen believe the country can best attain modern stature by means of a cautious process of education,

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Area Handbook for Ivory Coast
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Preface to the Second Edition ix
  • Country Summary xi
  • Summary of Events: January 1963--December 1972 xv
  • Bibliography lvii
  • Preface to the First Edition lxv
  • Section I. Sociological Background 1
  • Chapter 1 General Character of the Society 1
  • Chapter 2 Historical Setting 7
  • Chapter 3 Geography and Population 29
  • Chapter 4 Ethnic Groups and Languages 55
  • Chapter 5 Family 79
  • Chapter 6 Social Structure 95
  • Chapter 7 Education and Intellectual Expression 111
  • Chapter 8 Religion 131
  • Chapter 9 Artistic Expression 145
  • Chapter 10 Health and Welfare 155
  • Chapter 11 Social Values and Patterns of Living 169
  • Bibliography 179
  • Section II. Political Background 189
  • Chapter 12 Constitution and Government 189
  • Chapter 13 Political Dynamics 213
  • Chapter 14 Foreign Policy 231
  • Chapter 15 Information and Propaganda 251
  • Chapter 16 Attitudes and Reactions of the People 265
  • Bibliography 273
  • Section III. Economic Background 283
  • Chapter 17 Character and Structure of the Economy 283
  • Chapter 18 Agriculture 289
  • Chapter 19 Industry 309
  • Chapter 20 Labor 331
  • Chapter 21 Domestic and Foreign Trade 349
  • Chapter 22 Financial System 367
  • Bibliography 387
  • Section IV. National Security 395
  • Chapter 23 Public Order and Internal Security 395
  • Chapter 24 the Armed Forces 411
  • Bibliography 427
  • Glossary 431
  • Index 437
  • Published Area Handbooks 449
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