African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 187

Full Length Research Paper

Globalization, Culture mutation and new identity: Implications for the Igbo cultural heritage

Luke Amadi*
  • Luke Amadi*
  • Department of Political Science and Administrative Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
James E. Agena
  • James E. Agena
  • Department of Political Science Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 01 September 2014
  •  Accepted: 10 November 2014
  •  Published: 31 January 2015


The paper engages in globalization debate to explore culture mutation and resurgent new identity in the periphery societies of Africa. It focuses on the Igbo of Eastern Nigeria. The study of Igbo culture mutation is particularly interesting because 'traditional' scholarship presents the people as 'acephalous','egalitarian' and “republican”. It locates culture mutation within a social organization of culture contact and domination resulting in dislodgement, alien practices and lifestyles which gradually calcifies-hence a new identity. To explore the political economy of this new identity, a conceptualization of culture mutation is attempted. Globalization is thus treated as a source of disarticulation of Igbo culture.  The paper advances to explore specific culture mutation instances using both primary and secondary data sources. The primary sources are interviews from two purposively selected communities drawn from each of the five states of Eastern Nigeria namely; Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Abia, Ebonyiand parts of Delta State while the secondary source is existing literature and reports. Findings suggest that globalization dislodges Igbo culture which results in mutation. The article calls for culture redress and policy discourse for culture reinstitution and sustainability.

Key words: Identity, culture mutation, culture sustainability, globalization, development.