When Neutrality is Taboo. Navigating Institutional Identity in Protracted Con ict Settings — the Nigerian Ife/Modakeke Case * P EYI S OYINKA -A IREWELE ** A BSTRACT This paper explores the means by which social institutions lo- cated in African communities that are deeply and violently po- larized along ethnic-related lines, navigate the institutional role and identity within such a local environment. Utilizing a case study of ethno-political con ict in the Ile-Ife and Modakeke communities of South Western Nigeria, the paper investigates how the local academy has sought to survive as a zone of di- versities located in host cit(ies) with rigidly structured mythico- histories and con icting geopolitical claims. Through this explo- ration of the paradox of the uneasy cohabitation of contested * This article is based on research recently conducted as a Fellow of the Program on Global Security and Cooperation, Social Science Research Council. It was also supported through the award of a summer research grant from Ithaca College, New York. It is a revised version of a paper presented at the Third International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, University of Hawai’i, in February 2003. The author would like to thank
African and Asian Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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