The effect of ethnicity on collectivist families’ meal social interaction behaviour in Sierra Leone, International Journal of Advanced Research
Ethnicity has been touted to have a significant influence on Sierra Leonean families’ meal consumption behaviour. It is used to define the social grouping of individuals as it is aligned with the type of language they speak, their cultural beliefs, the region or community they come from and most notably the assumptions they espoused at the dinner table. These factors are symbolic in defining the character of individuals at mealtimes, but it significance vary from family to family based on their ethnic orientation and the degree of acculturation experienced by them. This paper evaluates the effect ethnicity has on the collectivist behaviour of Christian and Muslim families’ when they interact socially at mealtimes. This is emblematic of the fact that the cultural behaviour of families is never sacrosanct and inflexible, but changes from time to time based on their level of exposition either to a new environment or a new social group they interact/come in contact with. Consequently, this paper highlights the degree of influence ethnicity has on the behaviour of Christian and Muslim families (husband and wife) at mealtimes and draw attention to its significance as influencer of collectivism, particularly in relation to its impact on the social interaction between similar and dissimilar gender groups. The authors critically reviewed the degree of influence ethnicity has on families’ meal consumption behaviour and presented a comparative analytical summary of how gender affect the meal behaviours of different gender and religious groups.