The Sociology of the Yorùbá by N.A Fadipẹ (download link below)

Written originally as a doctoral dissertation in 1939 by Dr N. A. Fadipẹ for the award of PhD. degree in Sociology at the University of London.

It was published posthumously in 1970 as a book.When it comes to the sociology of the Yorùbá, nothing remotely compares to this masterpiece.


“There is an elaborate code of manners and etiquette, the observance of which serves to reduce the strains and frustrations of interpersonal relationships.

For example the Yorùbá has a salutation for every conceivable occasion and situation in which he may find a fellowman anytime of the day – while sitting or standing, when overtaking another person on the road, when at work or at play, when carrying a load, in cold or warm weather and so on.

He extends these modes of salutation to friends, acquaintances, and even strangers… “

“…we find, for the most part, imitation and affectation of superficial aspects of Western culture rather than of essentials. The Englishman is imitated in his dress, food, music, speech, and customs.

Yorubaland boasts of lawyers, doctors, engineers, clergymen, among them bishops of the Anglican connection and high civil servants. Yet the qualities that have made white people great and the object of so much admiration are lacking.

Social cohesion,mutual tolerance, co-operation and team work, disinterested social service, and public spirit, all these are lacking or are of only rudimentary development, even in the class, with the best educational advantages

Women are still treated as inferior, people still indulge in personalities rather than focus attention on issues, and criticism from younger and poorer persons is not tolerated.

Those in the lower social scale who, in various degrees, look up to those at the top more often than not caricature the vices of those they seek to imitate.

We have a series of new evils and categories of crime among them such as embezzlement, forgery, counterfeiting, low standards of sexual morality, low standards of business and commercial ethics, bribery in official positions and tyranny of petty officials.”

The book is out of print, but it is a very valuable resource. Luckily I have a copy which I bought many years ago. Find it if you can and keep it close to your pillow.

For those who are interested in scholarly publications, here is Dr N. A. Fadipẹ’s original 1,033 page dissertation which was submitted to the University of London in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of doctor of philosophy in 1939 titled:
“The Sociology of the Yoruba”

You can download it from:

Note: This is a huge file (87 MB in size).

The content of the book above is an edited version of the dissertation.

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