UGBEM, Confort E. (2013) The Social Relations of Identity Construction and Reconstruction among Ethnic Groups in Benue State, Nigeria
In Nigeria, ethnic identity occupies a salient position as it is usually mobilized for group action leading to violent and non-violent contests to establish or protect their supremacy.
This study aimed at examining the social processes of ethnic identity construction and reconstruction in Benue state. On the basis of focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and archival research, the study shows that ethnic pre-colonial identities were reconstructed to a Hausa identity by the colonial administration, and then evolved again afterwards. This process of reconstruction was fraught with a lot of conflicts and created identity contests for supremacy among the ethnic groups there by reconfiguring social interactions and created a situation of mutual suspicion and fear among the ethnic groups in Benue state.
Keywords: identity, history, Benue, Hausa, conflict