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Becoming Hausa: Ethnic identity change and its implications for the study of ethnic pluralism and stratification

  • Frank A. Salamone


An interesting problem emerging from recent studies in complex societies is that of the relationship between ethnic identity and the interaction between various ethnic groups in a pluralistic society. In much of the sociological and anthropological literature, writers have treated ethnic groups as isolates and ‘givens’. Such categorization dismisses the potential investigation of factors responsible for permanence and change in ethnic groups. This paper will focus on a specific example of ethnic identity change, that of the Gungawa of Yauri Emirate, North-Western State, Nigeria, who have long had a pattern of ‘becoming’ Hausa. The paper will suggest some ways in which the possibility and mechanism for ethnic identity change functions to structure interethnic relationships and ease tensions resulting from such contact.



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Becoming Hausa: Ethnic identity change and its implications for the study of ethnic pluralism and stratification

  • Frank A. Salamone


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