Social Structure and Ideology: Cognitive and Behavioral Responses to Servitude among the Machube of Northern Dahomey

This paper discusses the findings of an empirical study of cognitive and behavioral response to subordination in a contemporary servile society in the Borgou area of Northern Dahomey. The Borgou area is inhabited by three main groups: the Batomba, the Fulbe, and the machule, a servile group of predominantly Batomba origin. In the Borgou area a substantial part of the servile relationship between the machube and the Fulbe, remnant of an elaborate system of slavery, continues to exist and to function as a stable, and free of conflict, relation, on a voluntary basis. The research investigated the cognitive and behavioral causes for this stability and identified some of the processes involved in the integration of social systems with a high degree of social inequality. Sections: The research – The history of slavery in Borgou – The status of the machube today – Cognitive and behavioral responses to servitude: machube ideology – Conclusions: Ref., tables, French summary.

Title: Social Structure and Ideology: Cognitive and Behavioral Responses to Servitude among the Machube of Northern Dahomey
Author: Baldus, Bernard
Year: 1974
Periodical: Canadian Journal of African Studies
Volume: 8
Issue: 2
Pages: 355-383
Language: English
Geographic term: Benin
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/483772
Abstract: This paper discusses the findings of an empirical study of cognitive and behavioral response to subordination in a contemporary servile society in the Borgou area of Northern Dahomey. The Borgou area is inhabited by three main groups: the Batomba, the Fulbe, and the machule, a servile group of predominantly Batomba origin. In the Borgou area a substantial part of the servile relationship between the machube and the Fulbe, remnant of an elaborate system of slavery, continues to exist and to function as a stable, and free of conflict, relation, on a voluntary basis. The research investigated the cognitive and behavioral causes for this stability and identified some of the processes involved in the integration of social systems with a high degree of social inequality. Sections: The research – The history of slavery in Borgou – The status of the machube today – Cognitive and behavioral responses to servitude: machube ideology – Conclusions: Ref., tables, French summary.