Globalization, Cultural Diversity and Skewed Hybridization as Triple Helix of African Conflict of Identity and Development Burden: The Nigerian Example

Solomon Tai Okajare


Understanding the African space and developmental status in the global political economy requires examining its cultural identity in the globalization-hybridization context. While cultural diversity is noted for having stimulated social development and progress in some parts of the world, it has bred discontent and arrested development across Africa. This is particularly true of Nigeria where, for instance, one of the unpleasant realities of post-colonial history is the scourge of intra- and inter-ethnic wars. This resulted from contestation among cultural groups, and combined with other factors to deepen under-development in the country. This paper interrogates Nigeria’s mismanaged cultural diversity, and the consequent skewed hybridization for which colonial rule provided the gestation period, in the new age of globalization. It argues that, the unequal cultural hybridization, more harmful than (but in tandem with) mismanaged diversity, and as a high point of neo-imperialism unleashed through globalization, is fast eroding all vestiges of Nigerian collectivism and ‘we-feeling’. Engaging critical issues like language power, sexuality and marriage, and family values, as well as use and abuse of modern technology, the study found that Nigerians (particularly the young and middle-aged) are now sucking up Western orientations as being stamped and strengthened through globalization, without caution. This promotes fluid identity, which for a long time, is capable of making Nigeria’s pursuit of development in the contemporary international system a wild goose chase. It concludes that Nigerians, like other Africans, need to decisively work in one accord to develop strong mechanisms for resolving intergroup conflicts, deploy their cultural diversity as instrument for genuine development, and stamp out skewed cultural hybridization which is a signpost and symbolic representative of neo-imperialism. It is only such initiatives that can truly mainstream Africa, nay Nigeria, as respectable player within the global political economy space.


Cultural diversity; Hybridization; Contestation; Social identity; Conflict; Development

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