Evaluating the socio-cultural expressions of ideology and identity construction in the Ẹdo (Benin) guilds


  • William Ighasere Aigbedo Department of Linguistics Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State




Guild System., the Ẹdo (Benin) language, Variation, Linguistic Ideology, Identity, Linguistic


This paper investigates the use of Edo language to mark the linguistic identity of the guild and to express their cultural ideology in the Ẹdo (Benin) society. The Edo guild system is a professional body associated with the Edo (Benin) socio-cultural and political institutions
revolving around the Monarchy. The guilds further represent the association of the brass and bronze casters and are organized and located in Igun Street along Sokponba Road in the Benin metropolis of Edo State. Bucholtz and Hall’s Socio-Cultural Linguistic Approach was adopted as the theoretical framework. This theory was adopted for a better appraisal of the ideological and identity issues addressed in the study. Data were collected through in depth interview of three (03) principal informants (individuals with knowledge of the activities of the guilds so examined) and direct observation of interaction between the members of the different guilds. The data collected were subjected to discourse and lexical analyses. The cultural tenet of the guild’s (ideology) is responsible for the secret nature of their activities which has contributed to the emergence of the distinct register mentioned here. The guilds can be grouped ideologically as one but in terms of identity, different groups exist due to the specialized nature of their activities as seen from their use of the Ẹdo (Benin) language. The implication of these findings from the guild system is that the choice of language use is
determined by some ideological orientation which in the context of this study is synonymous with the cultural values of the society that creates such distinctions between royals and commoners’ identities. 


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How to Cite

Aigbedo, W. I. (2024). Evaluating the socio-cultural expressions of ideology and identity construction in the Ẹdo (Benin) guilds. Journal of the Nigerian Languages Project, 5. https://doi.org/10.60787/jnlp-v5-51