African Customary and Social Practices Review

How African Customary and Social Practices have been Utilized to Enhance Coping Strategies in Times of Crisis, focus on health pandemic

Background of the Study

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
African Customary and Social Practices Review
Just from $9/Page
Order Essay

Centuries before missionaries and colonialists arrived in Africa and centuries before the slave trade commenced, Africans in Africa had cultural and social practices and mechanisms to sustain their societies and to prevent the loss of lives during crises. The practices and mechanisms included health education practices, procedures for managing illnesses, and procedures for preventing the spread of illnesses through societies (Iganus & Haruna, 2017). In cases where African mechanisms helped to handle and manage health crises, it is believed that it was because the successful mechanisms took into account the socio-economic situation on the ground and wholesomely addressed the health crises and the related social and economic effects. Most of the mechanisms were initiated after elders or senior members of African societies met and discussed crises and suggested ways to handle them based on historical knowledge.

Traditional African societies had their understanding of the world and the different things in it. Most African societies across the continent believed that there is the seen world and the unseen world. The seen world includes everything that can be seen, while the unseen world includes the spirit world, spirits, magic, and so on. Many African societies believed that diseases were part of the unseen world (White, 2015). As per the WHO (World Health Organization), despite the introduction of new health care practices, procedures, and systems in African societies by missionaries and colonialists many years ago, many African societies still depend or heavily rely on various African traditional medicine (WHO, 2001). As per the WHO (2001), traditional health care/ medicine includes all the practices and knowledge, whether logical or not, which is used to prevent, diagnose, treat or manage any social, mental, and physical diseases. Traditional medicine was frequently learned through observation and experience and passed down generations orally and sometimes in written form.

Considering how big Africa is, it is no surprise that many different novels and old customary practices are encouraged and adhered to across the continent. Over the years, it has been noted that most customary practices have been modernized to reflect modern realities. Nevertheless, the purpose of customary practices is the same whether they are old or modernized, and that purpose is to promote the examples set by the ancestors. According to Worden (2012), customary practices in African societies can improve the survival and coping capabilities of individuals and communities as it has happened in the past. Improving survival and coping capabilities of African societies and communities through customary practices is quite important right now considering the volatile political and socio-economic conditions across the continent and the reports of starvation, extreme poverty, and violence in various areas throughout Africa.

Most studies on how crises were managed in traditional African settings focused on economic, political, and security crises. The overwhelming majority of the studies focus on conflicts and how they are managed via customary practices and strategies. There are not many studies that look at how health crises were managed to utilize social and customary practices. It is also important to note that African literature (written) does not include many works on how pandemics were managed. This situation justifies the need for more research into the customary practices and strategies that were used in Africa to cope with and to survive health crises and pandemics.

Problem Statement and Significance of the Study

Many social practices have remained unchanged for a long time and can, therefore, be regarded as customary social practices or customary practices in short. Some customary practices in Africa and elsewhere across the world are coping mechanisms; they help people to survive crises, e.g., pandemics, political turbulence, and economic downturns. These practices also help individuals to cope with health crises and can indeed help people cope with the current global coronavirus pandemic. This research is an attempt to find out social and customary practices that have been used to cope with crises, and that can be used to cope with the current global coronavirus pandemic.

This research is especially significant because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because most health care systems across the African continent are weak, governments can utilize social and customary practices and strategies to enable communities to cope with and to survive the devastating effects of coronavirus. Therefore, the social and customary practices and strategies that will be identified by this study can show policymakers and governments of the effective practices and strategies they can use to enhance the coping capacity of their people. The identification of coping and survival practices and strategies by this study can also remove the need for governments and policymakers to spend a lot of money on research and analysis and to instead spend that money directly on promoting the health care of their people.

Theoretical Foundations and Conceptual Framework

Religious and traditional leaders are very important in African societies. The moment an outbreak is suspected or confirmed, this theory suggests that concerned health personnel (doctors and nurses) should investigate and come with awareness campaigns that target religious and traditional leaders (imams, pastors, village headmen, and chiefs) (Manguvo & Mafuvadze, 2015). The leaders should then find capable individuals in their areas to help them to spread awareness campaigns and to implement preventive measures, e.g., mask-wearing and proper burial of infected persons.

Purpose of the Study

Many social practices have remained unchanged for a long time and can, therefore, be regarded as customary social practices or customary practices in short. Some customary practices in Africa and elsewhere across the world are coping mechanisms; they help people to survive crises, e.g., pandemics, e.g., coronavirus, political turbulence, and economic downturns. Therefore, the purpose of identifying customary practices and strategies that can help individuals and communities to cope is to help policymakers and government officials. Help them to find them out and to focus on promoting them so that they can boost the survival and coping capability of the people they are responsible for. The purpose is to also help the government with strategies that they can use to help people directly instead of spending a lot of money to search for and analyze new strategies.

While the social and customary practices and strategies can help individuals and communities to cope, they are not replacements for official government strategies and efforts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and its related effects. However, governments that do not have plenty of funds will benefit from adapting and promoting such practices and strategies because these are cheap, and their effects are very positive. The purpose of this present study is to discover the social and customary practices that are utilized to boost coping during health crises such as the current pandemic.

Research Question(s) and/or Hypotheses

Scientific methods of fighting the spread of diseases and pandemics are preferred throughout the globe. This is because they are logical and science-based, and their results are predictable. In contrast, religious and traditional practices for fighting diseases are usually not preferred (Airhihenbuwa, 1995). Nevertheless, several health crises such as the Ebola emergency in Central and West Africa revealed that the utilization of scientific methods only is not very effective if there is no adoption of a holistic approach that takes into account contextual factors. For instance, according to (Fairhead, 2014), while the governments of West African countries quickly adopted scientific methods to prevent the rapid spread of the Ebola pandemic in their countries, there was significant resistance to some of the scientific methods/ ways. The resistance was partly attributed to the strong influence of cultural and religious beliefs and practices in the affected countries. Therefore, for such governments, the better way of stopping the spread of Ebola could have been by adopting holistic approaches that take into account religious and cultural beliefs. Therefore, it is important to recognize the importance or influence of cultural and religious practices in health promotion. Consequently, the following are the questions that this research will seek to answer.

R1: What are the customary practices in African communities?

R2: What customary practices can be used to improve survival ability and coping in crises such as health pandemics?

R3: What factors can be used to improve the potential of relevant coping customary practices in the current pandemic?

Rationale for Methodology

This study will utilize a qualitative research method that will collect data using a survey. Questionnaires will be the actual tool that will be utilized to gather data. This is because of the following reasons. First, the recent Ebola crisis in Africa revealed the potential of social and customary practices in affecting health crises. The crisis, which affected much of West and Central Africa, showed that some religious and traditional practices could lead to the rapid spread of pandemics, while other religious and traditional practices can help in containing diseases (Manguvo & Mafuvadze, 2015; Richards et al., 2015). Given that the goal of this study is to find out detailed and in-depth information about how social and customary practices affected Central and West African communities, the use of the qualitative research design is very appropriate.

Second, qualitative research methodology has three key characteristics: (a) it involves purposeful sampling to ensure information is specific and not automatically generalizable; (b) it pursues new lines of investigations when they emerge; and (c) it is a naturalistic methodology (Patton, 2014; Stuckey, 2013). These characteristics, coupled with the fact that qualitative research methodology focuses on how people understand experiences, make this methodology the best for finding out customary and religious practices that negatively contributed to or helped restrain the Ebola pandemic from participants who have firsthand information.

Lastly, the qualitative research method is appropriate because it takes into account how people interpret their experiences individually and socially. Therefore, it is a methodology that has the potential to provide the in-depth information needed.

Definition of the Terms

Coping, according to VandenBos (2007, p.232), is the use of cognitive and behavioral strategies to manage difficult situations that are taxing or that surpass one’s ability to reduce negative emotions.

Community participation, according to Marsland (2006, p.67-68), is the empowerment of residents to engage in making decisions that affect them and to participate in activities that are meant to benefit them.

Cost-sharing, as per Abel-Smith and Rawal (1992), is a method that was utilized in several African states such as Tanzania to promote self-reliance and cut government spending.

Customary practices are established practices that are inherited from past generations that work as unwritten laws for many African communities. Customary practices touch on almost every aspect of life in African societies. Some of them are negative, while most are regarded as positive (Handler, 2016).

Social capital means factors such as interpersonal relations, a shared sense of identity, shared understanding, shared values, trust, cooperation, shared norms, reciprocity, and others that are common in functioning social groupings (Yama, 2020, p.170).

Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Study

This section introduced the study, including the background of the study, the purpose of the study, and the research questions. The methodology of the study was also introduced, and the rationale for using it was given. The next section/ chapter will review the current research, and the next chapter will describe the research design, the methodology, and the procedures for this study.

References

Abel-Smith, B., & Rawal, P. (1992). Can the poor afford ‘free’ health services? A case study of Tanzania. Health Policy and Planning, 7(4), 329-341.

Airhihenbuwa, C. O. (1995). Health and culture: Beyond the Western paradigm. Sage.

Fairhead, J. (2014). The significance of death, funerals, and the after-life in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia: Anthropological insights into infection and social resistance.

Handler, J. S. (2016). Custom and law: The status of enslaved Africans in seventeenth-Century Barbados. Slavery & Abolition, 37(2), 233-255.

Iganus, R. B., & Haruna, A. (2017). The Strength of African Culture in Managing Family Crisis in a Globalized World. Anthropol, 5(197), 2332-0915.

Manguvo, A., & Mafuvadze, B. (2015). The impact of traditional and religious practices on the spread of Ebola in West Africa: time for a strategic shift. The Pan African Medical Journal, 22(Suppl 1).

Marsland, R. (2006). Community participation the Tanzanian way: Conceptual contiguity or power struggle? Oxford Development Studies, 34(1).

Patton, M. Q. (2014). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice. Sage publications.

Richards, P., Amara, J., Ferme, M. C., Kamara, P., Mokuwa, E., Sheriff, A. I., … & Voors, M. (2015). Social pathways for Ebola virus disease in rural Sierra Leone, and some implications for containment. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 9(4).

Stuckey, H. L. (2013). An overview of the rationale for qualitative research methods in social health. Journal of Social Health and Diabetes, 1(01), 006-008.

VandenBos, G. R. (2007). APA dictionary of psychology. American Psychological Association.

White, P. (2015). The concept of diseases and health care in African traditional religion in Ghana. HTS Theological Studies, 71(3), 01-07.

Worden, N. (2012). The Making of Modern South Africa: Conquest, Apartheid, Democracy. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

World Health Organisation (WHO), (2001). Legal status of traditional medicine and complementary/alternative medicine: Worldwide review. WHO, Geneva.

Yama, H. (2020). Laugh and Laughter as Adaptation in Human Being: Past and Present. In Adapting Human Thinking and Moral Reasoning in Contemporary Society (pp. 156-175). IGI Global.


Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects

Literature

Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.

Finance

Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!

Psychology

While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.

Engineering

Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.

Nursing

In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.

Sociology

Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.

Business

We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!

Statistics

We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.

Law

Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment Help Service Works

1. Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2. Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3. Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4. Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essay GET A PERFECT SCORE!!! smile and order essay Buy Custom Essay


Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
$26
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Urgency
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more
Open chat
1
Need assignment help? You can contact our live agent via WhatsApp using +1 718 717 2861

Feel free to ask questions, clarifications, or discounts available when placing an order.
  +1 718 717 2861           + 44 161 818 7126           [email protected]
  ++1 718 717 2861         [email protected]