Media and Identity in Africa

Media and Identity in Africa

Edited by Edited by Kimani Njogu and John Middleton
Distribution: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvado
Publication date: 01/04/2010
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-22201-5
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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.

Author Bio

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.


“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

“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

“Incorporating both African and intercontinental perspectives, this collective volume demonstrates how media outlets are used to perpetuate, question, or modify the unequal power relations between Africa and the rest of the world.”

“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

“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. Vol. 32, No. 4, July 2011”
 — Jounal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development

“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 Quarterly

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Table of Contents

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 a

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