Western Norms and Local Media in Africa

Colonialism has attempted to transfer Western values and norms onto Africa. This endeavour has induced multilayered reinterpretation processes in the various African societies where these values and norms were and still are confronted with established bodies of knowledge and life practices, and are interpreted according to local cultural contexts. This confrontation has expedited a dynamics of change which often led to different ends than those originally intended.

There are hardly any studies dealing with these partly conscious, partly unconscious, strategies of mutual interactions. Scholarly discourse also almost entirely ignores Africa’s influence on Europe as well as processes of normative appropriation and change between African societies within Africa itself and as a result of the diffusion of Islam. The formation of normative orders which are driven by other actors than the West therefore represent an important field of research. Another controversially debated research field in the domain of norms are the international debates on the implementation of patents and copyrights. In Africa these debates are particularly virulent as far as cultural and natural resources are concerned. In ongoing attempts to implement Western norms onto African societies, the media play an important role as they facilitate the reproduction of narratives of justification with which normative changes are disseminated for a broader public. Whereas the contribution of media and their impact on society has been sufficiently debated and theoretically reflected, rich ethnographic studies on media use in Africa have, however, rarely been carried out. Abu-Lughod already complained about this a decade ago, though little has changed in the meantime. Ferguson and Gupta attribute this neglect to an impression of difficulty in the localization of mass media. Their broadcast is global, though it is always manufactured locally by individuals with a specific cultural background. These complex processes of the mutual interdependence of cultural norms can only be understood by studying them in the field among the people themselves. In this way, we contribute to a theory of development with genuine practical relevance.

 

People in this project:

  • Project director / contact
    • Diawara, Mamadou, Prof. Dr. | Profile
  • Project members
    • Röschenthaler, Ute, PD Dr. | Profile

Publications for this project:

  • Diawara, Mamadou; Röschenthaler, Ute (2013): Mediationen: Normenwandel und die Macht der Medien im subsaharischen Afrika, in: Andreas Fahrmeir/Annette Imhausen (Hrsg.), Die Vielfalt normativer Ordnungen. Konflikte und Dynamik in historischer und ethnologischer Perspektive, Normative Orders Bd. 8, Frankfurt am Main: Campus 2013, S. 129-164.
    Details
  • Diawara, Mamadou; Röschenthaler, Ute (2011): Immaterielles Kulturgut und konkurrierende Normen: Lokale Strategien des Umgangs mit globalen Regelungen zum Kulturgüterschutz. Sociologus 61, 1: 1-17.
    Details
  • Diawara, Mamadou (2011): “Development and administrative norms: The Office du Niger and decentralization in French Sudan and Mali”, in: Africa, 81 (3), 434-454.
    Details | DOI: 10.1017/S0001972011000210
  • Diawara, Mamadou (2010): "L’osmose des regards: anthropologues et historiens au prisme du terrain", Cahiers d’Études africaines. (Sonderausgabe zum 50. Geburtstag der Zeitschrift Cahiers)
    Details
  • Diawara, Mamadou; Lategan, Bernard; Rüsen, Jörn (2010): Historical Memory in Africa. Dealing with the past, reaching for the future in an intercultural context. New York: Berghahn Books.
    Details
  • Diawara, Mamadou (2010): “Introduction”, in Mamadou Diawara, Bernard Lategan und Jörn Rüsen (Hg.): Historical Memory in Africa. Dealing with the Past, Reaching for the Future in an Intercultural Context. New York/ Oxford: Berghahn.
    Details
  • Diawara, Mamadou (2010): “Remembering the Past, Reaching for the Future. Aspects of African Historical Memory in an International Context”, in Mamadou Diawara, Bernard Lategan, und Jörn Rüsen (Hg): Historical Memory In Africa. Dealing with the Past, Reaching for the Future in an Intercultural Context. New York/Oxford: Berghahn.
    Details
  • Diawara, Mamadou (2009): Comment peut-on être auteur? De la création dans un contexte de tradition orale en Afrique subsaharienne, in: Justin Bisanswa (Hg.), Dire le social dans le roman francophone, Paris: Champion (2009).
    Details
  • Diawara, Mamadou (2009): De la fabrique des savoirs et des normes intellectuelles. À propos de « L’Occident décroché Enquête sur les postcolonialismes » de Jean-Loup Amselle, Politique Africaine, 116, décembre (2009), 185-191
    Details
  • Diawara, Mamadou (2009): Die Osmose der Blicke. Zur Forschung in eigener Sache, in: Volker Gottowik/ Holger Jebens/ Editha Plat-te (Hg.), Zwischen Aneignung und Verfremdung. Ethnologische Gratwanderungen, Festschrift für Karl-Heinz Kohl, Frankfurt/Main, New York: Campus (2009), 251-267
    Details
  • Diawara, Mamadou (2009): Les lieux du développement: Les experts coloniaux face aux ruraux de l’Office du Niger au XIXème siècle (Soudan Français et Mali), in: Katharina Inhetveen/ Georg Klute (Hg.), Begegnungen und Auseinander-setzungen, Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag (2009), 437-457.
    Details
  • Diawara, Mamadou (2009): Pourquoi des musées ? Mémoires locales et objets dans les musées africains, in: Isidore Ndaywel è Nziem/ Elisabeth Mudimbe Boyi (Hg.), Images, mémoires et savoirs. Une histoire en partage avec Bogu-mil Koss Jewsiewicki, Paris : Karthala (2009), 231-245
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  • Röschenthaler, Ute; Diawara, Mamadou (2008): Einleitung zu: Röschenthaler, Ute und Mamadou Diawara (Hg.). Im Blick der Anderen. Frankfurt: Brandes & Apsel. S. 6-21.
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  • Röschenthaler, Ute; Diawara, Mamadou (2008): Hg. Im Blick der Anderen. Auf ethnologischer Forschung in Mali. Frankfurt: Brandes & Apsel. 167 S.
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  • Diawara, Mamadou (2008): The African Intellectual in the Court of Public Opinion: A Critical Reflection. In: Stephen Belcher, Jan Jansen and Mohamed N’Daou (Hg.), Mande Mansa. Essays in Honor of David C. Conrad. Berlin, Zürich: Lit Verlag. S. 61-72.
    Details
  • Röschenthaler, Ute; Henning, Engelke (2008): Mimesis und Reflexivität in Jean Rouchs Les maîtres fous. In: Andreas Becker, Martin Doll, Serjoscha Wiemer und Anke Zechner (Hg.): Mimikry. Gefährlicher Luxus zwischen Natur und Kultur. Schliengen: Edition Argus. S. 120-146.
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  • Röschenthaler, Ute (2011): Geistiges Eigentum oder Kulturerbe? Lokale Strategien im Umgang mit kulturellen Ressourcen. Sociologus 61, 1: 45-67.
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  • Röschenthaler, Ute (2011): Purchasing Culture. The Dissemination of Associations in the Cross River region of Cameroon and Nigeria. (The Harriet Tubmen Series of the African Diaspora). Trenton: Africa World Press.
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  • Röschenthaler, Ute (2010): 'Celebrating our Heritage'. Lokale Festivals, Erinnerungskultur und neue Identitäten in Kamerun und Nigeria. Arbeitspapiere des Instituts für Ethnologie und Afrikastudien der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz 118, 1-30
    Details | Link to full text
  • Röschenthaler, Ute (2010): An Ethnography of Associations? Transethnic Research in the Cross River Region. In: Marit Melhuus, Jon Mitchell and Helena Wulff (Hg.). Present Ethnography. New York: Berghahn Books, 121-134.
    Details
  • Röschenthaler, Ute (2010): Tauschsphären: Geschichte und Bedeutung eines wirtschaftsethnologischen Konzepts. Anthropos 105: 157-77.
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  • Röschenthaler, Ute (2010): The social life of White Man Mimbo and ancestral consumption of bottled beer in Southwest Cameroon. In: Wolputte, Steven van/Mattia Fumanti (Hg.). Beer as a local and transnational commodity in Africa. Münster: Lit, 131-166.
    Details
  • Röschenthaler, Ute (2009): The submerged History of Nsanakang. A Glimpse into an Anglo-German encounter. In: Ian Fowler/ Verkijika Fanso (Hg:). Encounter, Transformation and Identity. Peoples of the Western Cameroon Borderlands 1891-2000. Festschrift für Shirley Ardener. New York: Berghahn Books (Cameroon Studies Series), 110-140.
    Details
  • Röschenthaler, Ute (2009): Werbung im Kontext: Perspektiven auf ein neues ethnologisches Forschungsfeld. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 134: 213-251.
    Details


Headlines

Lecture Series "Gesetz und Gewalt im Kino"


Five Lectures will cast some light of the theme of "Gesetz und Gewalt im Kino". Presenter is the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" with the "Kulturamt der Stadt Frankfurt". First Lecture 25 April 2014, 7pm, Museum für Moderne Kunst. More...

"Frankfurter Stadtgespräch" with Christopher Clark (Cambridge)

The title of the next "Frankfurter Stadtgespräch" is "Wer hat angefangen? Sinn und Unsinn historischer Schuldzuschreibungen". Participants are Prof. Christopher Clark  (Cambridge) and Prof. Andreas Fahrmeir (Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"). The conversation will be moderated by Prof. Dr. Klaus Günther (Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders") on 19 May 2014, 7pm, Historisches Museum. More...

Upcoming Events

24 April 2014

Author meets critics’ workshop on Leif Wenar’s book manuscript titled "Power / Counter-Power: Might Makes Right, Popular Sovereignty and the Unity of Humanity"Workshop: Clean Trade in Natural Resources: Workshop with Leif Wenar (King's College London). Mit Prof. Darrell Moellendorf u. a. More...

25 April 2014, 7pm

Lecture Series "Gesetz und Gewalt im Kino": Verena Lueken (Frankfurt am Main), "Babes Behind Bars - Gesetz und Gewalt im Frauengefängnisfilm" about Caged (John Cromwell, USA 1950). More...

Latest Media

Die Herausbildung der europäischen Notstandsverfassung. Die Grundstruktur rechtlicher Normativität und warum wir auf einem falschen Weg sind

Lecture by Prof. Armin von Bogandy (Executive Director of Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law/Cluster of Excellence „The Formation of Normative Orders“)

Anarchy, Hierarchy, Polyarchy, Monarchy or else? What sort of global rule for a time of power change?

Lecture by Prof. Harald Müller (Executive Director of Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF)/Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"), Lecture Series "Beyond Anarchy: Rule and Authority in the International System"

List of video & audio recordings: Here…

New full-text Publications

Forst, Rainer (2013):

Zum Begriff eines Rechtfertigungsnarrativs, Normative Orders Working Paper 03/2013. More...

Forst, Rainer (2013):

Noumenal Power, Normative Orders Working Paper 02/2013. More...