Media and Identity in Africa
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Media and Identity in Africa

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What is the role of the media in Africa? How do they work? How do they interact with global media? How do they reflect and express local culture? Incorporating both African and international perspectives, Media and Identity in Africa demonstrates how media outlets are used to perpetuate, question, or modify the unequal power relations between Africa and the rest of the world. Discussions about the construction of old and new social entities which are defined by class, gender, ethnicity, political and economic differences, wealth, poverty, cultural behavior, language, and religion dominate these new assessments of communications media in Africa. This volume addresses the tensions between the global and the local that have inspired creative control and use of traditional and modern forms of media.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 175.26 x 251.46 x 25.4mm | 612.35g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 025322201X
  • 9780253222015
  • 1,450,759

Review quote

Definitions of 'media' inexorably change as new technologies blur oral, visual, and movement-based modes of communication. This volume's introduction and eight overview chapters present African media contexts and critical issues of contemporary political economy; these are followed by 16 quick takes dealing with subjects such as health-related storytelling, African museums, cartooning, book prizes, proverb-bearing textiles, Kenyan diaspora Web sites, Muslim Hausa videos, and African intellectuals in a hostile media environment. Teasing tidbits reflect the impossibility of putting one's finger on what constitute 'media' in the first place. The essays were originally presented as papers at a Nairobi conference convened by African philosopher/professor/author Valentin Mudimbe (who provides an evocative epilogue) for the venerable International African Institute; contributors include many African scholars from the African continent and abroad. One of the volume's strong threads concerns music and religious videos, which are often created for specific audiences and follow specific aesthetics. Such effervescent vehicles are among the most 'African' of new media on the continent--i.e., they reflect and stimulate identity formation. Mbugua wa Mungai's contribution provides a telling snapshot: careening matatus (share taxis) blare rude rap in a 'traffic of cultural metaphors' constantly reinventing life in Nairobi... Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. -- ChoiceA. F. Roberts, University of California, Los Angeles, September 2010 "This is a volume that will be regularly referenced for its individual studies and as a collective snapshot of the variety, complexity, embeddedness, and fecundity of African cultural production in diverse interlocking media." -Graham Furniss, University of London "This volume's introduction and eight overview chapters present African media contexts and critical issues of contemporary political economy... Teasing tidbits reflect the impossibility of putting one's finger on what constitute 'media' in the first place... Recommended." -Choice "Media and Identity in Africa contains important material on phenomena that will soon... disappear in the evanescent world of media discourse." -Bodil Folke Frederiksen, Roskilde University "Despite an increase in recent years, books dealing with issues of culture and media in Africa are still few and far between. Media and Identity in Africa is therefore a welcome addition. Its broad scope and wealth of individual case studies, written by many well-known names in African studies, ensure that it will be a leading text for years to come." -Jounal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Vol. 32, No. 4, July 2011 "The contributions are remarkable in their depth and breadth as they attempt to explain the media situation in Africa and what it means for the concept of identity and identity formation... [T]he volume has almost everything for everyone because of the range of variety in the contributors' disciplinary approach and density of style and language. For a book aimed at meeting the needs of academic and general audiences, Media in Africa is an invaluable acquisition." -African Studies Quarterlyshow more

About Kimani Njogu

Kimani Njogu is Director of Twaweza Communications and former Associate Professor of African Languages at Kenyatta University, Kenya. John Middleton (1921-2009) was Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Religious Studies at Yale University.show more

Table of contents

Contributors Prologue Kimani Njogu and John Middleton Part I: The Media, Community and Identity 1 Orality, the Media and New Popular Cultures in Africa Karin Barber 2 The Media in Social Developments in Contemporary Africa Paul Tiyambe Zeleza 3 Language and the Media in Africa: Between the Old Empire and the New Alamin Mazrui 4 Reflections on the Media in Africa: Strangers in the Mirror? Goretti Linda Nassanga 5 Africa's Media: Democracy and Belonging Francis B. Nyamnjoh 6 Representation of Africa in the Western Media: Challenges and Opportunities John Kiarie Wa'Njogu 7 Media Consumerism and Cultural Transformation Eric Masinde Aseka 8 African Intellectuals in a Hostile Media Environment Macharia Munene Part II: The Media and Identity: The Global Media 9 Publishing in Africa Cecilia Kimani 10 Pentecostalism and Modern Audiovisual Media Birgit Meyer 11 Rekindling Efficacy: Storytelling for Health Kimani Njogu 12 The Media in Education Charles Ngome 13 Horn of Africa and Kenya Diaspora Websites as Alternative Media Sources Ann Biersteker 14 Popular Dance Music and the Media John Collins 15 Media Parenting and the Construction of Media Identities in Northern Nigerian Muslim Hausa Video Films Abdalla Uba Adamu Part III: The Media and Identity: The Local Media 16 'To Make Strange Things Possible' The Photomontages of the Bakor Photo Studio in Lamu, Kenya Heike Behrend 17 Musical Images and Imaginations: Tanzania Music Videos Kelly M. Askew 18 Political Ridicule: Medialized Notions of 'Transparent Concealment' Bantu Mwaura 19 Names, Cloth and Identity: A Case from West Africa Michelle Gilbert 20 Museums in Africa Simiyu Wandibba 21 Literary Prizes, Book Prizes and African Writing Walter Bgoya 22 Innovating 'AlterNative' Identities: Nairobi Matatu Culture Mbugua wa Mungai 23 Bringing Change through Laughter: Cartooning in Kenya Patrick Gathara and Mary Kabura Wanjau 24 Demonic Tradition: Representations of Oathing in Newspaper Coverage of the 1997 Crisis in Coastal Kenya Diane M. Ciekawy Epilogue: In the Name of Similitude V.Y. Mudimbe Indexshow more