Urban Dynamics in Black Africa presents a succession of worlds where we can study the development and the crystallization of major social change. The authors trace the development of former villages, towns, and colonial outposts into major cities within the international community. Open-air markets continue their trading beside modern department stores as individual Africans create contemporary lives from old and new.
William J. and Judith L. Hanna, in this unique work, introduce new data and the methods of dependency theory, class and gender analysis; they offer connections between Africa's internal dynamics, its legacy of imperialism, and the international political and economic arena. At the same time, the book provides a model for studying the evolution of political institutions. Urban Dynamics in Black Africa illustrates how social classes modify and are modified by existing cultural forms. The book examines Africa in its independence by contrasting development and dependency, role adaptability and conflict, in a powerful conceptual matrix. Detailing the urban conditions that exist throughout Africa as well as their costs and benefits, this work shows how contemporary political conflict in urban Africa is based upon both ethnic and non-ethnic ties; and how these ethnic and non-ethnic ties serve as the bases of a system of political integration unique to poly-ethnic communities.
As a synthesis of the relevant available knowledge on African towns and town-dwellers, this book is concerned primarily with the effects of external intervention and socioeconomic modernization upon the birth and development of Africa's new towns and the rapid expansion of its old ones. It considers the impact of migration and town life upon Africans.