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The Relevance of the Theory of Primordialism to the Evolution of Acholi Ethnic Identity in Northern Uganda

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of History in Gulu University, Northern UGANDA

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 3, Issue (4), Pages 8-11, April,14 (2014)

Abstract

This article discusses the relevance of the theory of primordialism to the rise of Acholi ethnic identity in northern Uganda. Ethnicity is a term of two broad theoretical categories namely primordialism and constructivism. Each of the two has several sub-theories. Modern historians have tended to ignore primordialism in preference for new concepts like instrumentalism, cultural determinism, historicism and regionalism. Using fieldwork conducted among the Acholi and analysis of secondary data from different writers, the author contends that the theory of primordialism is relevant to the rise and metamorphosis of Acholi ethnic identity. He argues that many of the authors who have criticized Clifford Geertz’s primordialism have only been able to use the different varieties of primordialism under different names.

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