Multi dimensional aspect of the African identity (as stated earlier by I, Africanness and BLACKNESS is about a Pleurality rather than a Duality)
Extracts taken as this is a very long article
Identity and acculturation: The case for Africa
Byron G. Adams &Fons J. R. van de Vijver
Pages 115-121 | Published online: 21 Apr 2017
Why study identity and acculturation in transitional African societies?
From an identity perspective, the African cultural setting seems to be experiencing a period of transition where many are seeking not only to define themselves and the roles they seek to play within their respective societies, but also the very nations in which they live. They seek to establish, negotiate, and maintain a national identity in which they embrace the diversity harboured within their borders. African contexts are complex; countries are often vastly multicultural; and in many countries no group clearly dominates all aspects of social, political, economic, and cultural life spheres. More inquiry is needed into acculturation processes, and this inquiry should start with the conceptualisation of identity of individuals within the African context. Identity is key, central, and pivotal here, not only for the nation but every individual who finds meaning within the confines of the respective country’s borders.
In the study by Ferguson and Adams (2016Ferguson, G. M., & Adams, B. G. (2016). Americanization in the Rainbow Nation remote acculturation and psychological well-being of South African emerging adults) they examined remote acculturation in 370 youth in Johannesburg. They found that Americanisation was more prevalent in South African youth compared to Jamaican youth; notably, the exposure to American media, the relationship between Americanisation and well-being was mainly moderated by racial group membership. In another study by Ferguson and colleagues (Ferguson et al. Multidimensional remote acculturation and well-being among urban Zambian adolescents) of 83 adolescents from Lusaka, they found that adolescents could be either classified as traditional Zambians (which meant that they were more oriented toward Zambian culture) or Westernised Multicultural Zambians (which meant that they were more oriented toward American, British, and South African contexts). This latter group presented a lower sense of family obligation and were more independent. These studies inform the multidimensional nature which acculturation will take on in future.
While strides are made towards accommodating more plurality in acculturation studies, as with the multidimensional model; it is again evident that the influence of Western culture remains dominant for understanding acculturative processes in Africa. Even in multidimensional considerations of acculturation, outcomes of acculturation seem to be somewhat associated with Western cultural values, norms, and attitudes. Remarkably, this is also the case in studies of remote acculturation (cultural changes due to indirect contact); the emphasis is on the degree to which individuals adopt Western norms, values and practices, and identify with western cultures with which they have made little or no contact but which are remotely transferred through media, social media, and/or goods and services. Identity is diffused in some African contexts. In the development of a multidimensional acculturative model suited for the African context, we need to consider the levels of identity within dimensions as well.
Consider for a moment the implications related to the complexity associated with components of the social identity dimension in Africa. Firstly, the notion of national identity as a construct which encapsulates identification with the nation state may be problematic in contexts with salient social identity components, such as tribal membership, ethnicity, religion, and language; which may be more important than national identity. In an effort to move beyond the national identities established by the colonially-ruled nation states, national identities in Africa encapsulate multicultural identities. Individuals and groups may emphasise different social identities, transcending the traditional ethnic–racial markers imposed by colonial nations (Ganathay-Coleman & Serpell, 2008; Developmental psychology as political psychology in Sub-Saharan Africa: The challenge of Africanisation. Applied Psychology).
Secondly, within the acculturation process, salience of different social identities may need to be continuously negotiated. Different social identities, such as ethnic, cultural, and national identities, are associated with different behaviours, values, norms, and practices. In an African context, identity models should leave room for multiple allegiances referring to multiple domains. The prevailing acculturation research is predicated on the notion that migrants identify with one or two cultures. Allegiances in an African context are multidimensional and may involve multiple life domains; for example, a young South African Muslim may have a strong religious, ethnic, age, gender, musical, and sports identity; each identity would link him or her to different groups. Capturing his or her identity in two dimensions (Indian, South-African) would be inadequate.