ERIC Number: ED457087
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Swazi Concepts of Intelligence: The Universal vs. the Local.
Booth, Margaret Zoller
The Kingdom of Swaziland, made up primarily of people of Swazi ethnicity, has gone through dramatic social, political, and economic changes throughout this century, due in no little part to colonial and post-colonial influences. But because the political state reflects the ethnic homogeneity of its people, traditions have changed more slowly than in other areas of the continent. Consequently, the Swazi culture can serve as a case study for the investigation of basic psychological premises, such as "intelligence," and the universality of such concepts. This paper investigates to what extent the complex nature of continuity and change in the context of this southern African kingdom has also modified deeply rooted societal beliefs regarding cultural ways of knowing and being"intelligent." The paper analyzes the views of individuals from one culture (Swazi) regarding the traits of being "intelligent." Within that culture it compares historical meanings of intelligent behavior and considers how and why perceptions of this term have changed throughout the 20th century and continue to vary today. The paper seeks to contribute to goals put forward by John Berry regarding cross-cultural psychology: generally, by using a more emic outlook of one psychological principle, researchers may come closer to creating a true etic perspective. (Contains 5 notes, 2 tables, and 58 references.) (BT)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Swaziland