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Authors: Hirano-Nomoto, Misa
Author's alias: ヒラノ, ミサ
Keywords: African urban society
Hometown association
Mutual aid
Issue Date: Oct-2014
Publisher: The Research Committee for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 50
Start page: 123
End page: 136
Abstract: This article examined several practices employed by urban voluntary associations in Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon, to promote coexistence with Bamileke immigrants from the western half of the West Region of Cameroon, where the territory is divided into more than 100 small chiefdoms. Bamileke immigrants residing in cities organize hometown associations among those who have emigrated from the same chiefdom; even after relocation, these immigrants maintain their identity as members of particular chiefdoms. I surveyed the non-elite hometown associations of a chiefdom in Yaoundé and analyzed how the members perform mutual aid activities within their associations and how they maintain their position within the city. The ability of Bamileke hometown associations to have survived in cities for approximately one century indicates they have adapted to the surrounding social, economic, and political environments. Although Bamileke hometown associations experience conflict when political struggles occur, members have employed various approaches to maintaining their community. This ability to introduce different values and organizations into a community is an expression of "African potential" in urban society. The non-elite Bamileke hometown associations survive in the city by maintaining the core activities of mutual help and using a variety of methods to subsume differences.
DOI: 10.14989/189723
Appears in Collections:50(Conflict Resolution and Coexistence: Realizing African Potentials)

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