Social Change In Africa

1428 Words6 Pages
“Social change is the significant alteration of social structure and cultural patterns through time” (Rodney, 1973:14). The role of the socio-economic role of the social change from communal societies to feudalism was one that changed the identity and unity of the African people. Africans before this social change went from being united and equality to the division of labour and creation of social groups. This essay will explain the role of socio-economic institutions in social change, it will also draw on how these institutions created subordinate and ruling classes then it will conclude by discussing the shifting nature of identity and belonging in Arica during this period. “In Africa, before the 15th century, the predominant principal…show more content…
“Feudalism involved great inequality in distribution of land and social products” (Rodney, 1973:12). Feudal societies had a more complex division of labour. In some African communities, feudalism was established through the establishment of military armies. The domination of people which are the people who formed the military armies, had taken control over the land, this creating classes because it was obvious that the establishment of these military institutions would conquer the land and take over which led to the creation of classes. This is because the conquerors felt superior which made them become the leaders and landlords, leaving those who did not conquer the land as peasants. Rodney (1973:27) also highlights that these peasants were now workers of the landlords and paid tax in labouring. Which is evident or confirms that feudalism was an economic institution because before this period, African people did not pay taxes to anyone as the land was for everyone in the community. However, during feudalism they had to pay taxes to survive which was unusual to the people. Thus, showing the huge role played by the economic institution, because it had a social change on the people due to having to adapt to the new ‘norm’ which was paying taxes to…show more content…
I must agree with Magubane because the restructuring of the social institution from communalism to feudalism did create ruling and subordinate classes socially by the division of power amongst the African people. What I mean by this is that Africans went from peasants to workers, ordinary members of communities to chiefs and from chiefs to landlords who owned land, collected taxes from the working class and ruled. Economically, Magubane (;9) believes that economic institutions created subordinate and ruling classes by the landlords or land owners getting rich because of the workers and land that did not belong to them, while the workers were getting poor and suffered from food shortage. I agree with Magubane and believe that economic institutions during the transition from communalism to feudalism created these classes by the exploitation of the workers as well as the workers having to pay taxes to the landlords. This like mentioned above, made the workers feel inferior and depended on the landlords, since he was the one who provided for the during
Open Document