Sociology and Social Groups

Topics: Sociology, Social groups, Sociological terms Pages: 4 (1141 words) Published: January 11, 2013
The current distribution of Bantu social groups is commonly considered to be a consequence of a relatively recent population expansion in Central Western Africa. While there is a substantial consensus regarding the centre of origin of Bantu (the Benue River Valley, between South East Nigeria and Western Cameroon), the identification of the area from where the population expansion actually started, the relation between the processes leading to the spread of languages and peoples and the relevance of local migratory events remain controversial.

In light of this statement, this paper is an attempt to describe the social groups among the Western Bantu with special reference to what necessitated the establishment of such groups and show why the Eastern Bantu failed to form any organised social group during this migration. According to Marten (2006) t he term Bantu refers to a family of languages which is widespread in most of Sub-Saharan continent and is currently spoken by almost 220 million people.

To discuss this topic at hand more comprehensively, this presentation is developed along four lines of argument. The first section will define key concept in the presentation while the second will describe the social groups among the Western Bantu with special referen ce to what necessitated the establishment of such social gro ups. The third and fourth sections will focus on why the Eastern Bantu failed to establish the social groups and give a short and snappy conclusion in order to sum up the presentation respectively. The western Bantu came through the Congo, from the Luba-Lunda Empire. They were explorers, who wanted the excitements of different lifestyles. Three social groups formed the framework of the ancestral society. These social groups were: the house which was the smallest unit of co-operation, the village which denoted the unit of protection and finally the district which represented the unit of settlement. These three units were interrelated in different...

References: April, G and Donald, L. 1996. Understanding Contemporary Africa. London: Lynne Reiner.
Greenberg J.H. 1992. Linguistic evidence regarding Bantu Origins. Journal of African
History, 13, 189–216.
Marten, L. 2006. Bantu Classification, Bantu Trees and Phylogenetic Methods, and Prehistory of Languages. Cambridge: Mc Donald Institute of Archaeological Resear ch
Schcenbrun, D.L. 1997. The Historical Reconstruction of Great Lakes Bantu Cultural
Vocabulary. Koln: Rudiger Loppe.
Shillington, K. 2005. History of Africa. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Vansina, J. “New linguistics evidence on the expansion of Bantu”, Journal of African History
36: 173-195, 1995.
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