Ethnicity and rural self-help initiative: a proposal for field research
Reynolds, John E.
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I propose to investigate the association between ethnic identity and rural self-help activity, especially that related to educational innovations, in a rural settlement area in Kenya. The rapidly expanding commitment to formal education among rural populations in Kenya is evidenced by the considerable amount of self-help activity devoted to the provision of educational facilities. Self-help as a developmental strategy in this country has been of increasing importance over the last decade, and while the role of ethnicity in shaping the course, content, and extent of the self-help movement has clearly been substantial, it has not been fully comprehended. My work will address the question of ethnic identity as a determinate in self-help activity, and I will be specifically interested in examining a hypothesis concerning the creation and utilization of identity in the organisation of such activity. The research will draw upon, and test the utility of, certain anthropological approaches to the study of socio-cultural change and ethnic group phenomena. The results should be of significance to future studies and programs in economic and educational development in all contexts where ethnic plurality is a relevant factor. Investigation will proceed on the basis of the established anthropological techniques of participant observation and structured and unstructured interviewing. Data will be analyzed with the aid of the SPSS system of computer programs.