Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding the Politicization of Oromo Identity in the Diaspora: Re/ Locating the Bones of the Oromo
by Bass, Madeline Jaye, M.S., Portland State University, 2019, 160; 22588536
Abstract (Summary)

The Oromo people of Ethiopia share a common language, worldview, set of sacred meanings, and a historic system of governance. The rise of the Abyssinian Empire in the late 1800s led to the colonization of the Oromo; their language and religion were made illegal, their homeland was expropriated and renamed, and they were forced to live as slaves on their own land. After the end of the Abyssinian colonial era, historic discrimination was institutionalized into the new Ethiopian state form through the politicization of identities. Ethnic identities become political identities when cultural traits are used by the state as criteria for a differential allocation of rights. This thesis studies how the identity of the Oromo people (Oromumma) has been shaped over time by economic, political, and cultural dynamics of oppression and resistance, and how it has developed among Oromo in the diaspora. Field observations in Ethiopia and interviews of Oromo immigrants in the U.S. are the basis for the study. This thesis is a unique contribution to research of marginalized Indigenous populations living under a settler colonial state in that it examines the unusual case where both the oppressor and oppressed populations are African. It also makes a contribution to the literature understanding the politicization of Oromumma in Ethiopia and across the diaspora.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Padín, José
Commitee: Farr, Grant, Jaffee, Daniel
School: Portland State University
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: MAI 81/6(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Sociology, Ethnic studies, Sub Saharan Africa Studies
Keywords: Diaspora, Ethiopia, Ethnicity, Oromo, Political identities, Settler colonialism
Publication Number: 22588536
ISBN: 9781392893456
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