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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'For Many Are Called But Few are Chosen': Globalisation and Popular Disenchantment in Africa
Author:Nyamnjoh, Francis B.
Year:2000
Periodical:African Sociological Review (ISSN 1027-4332)
Volume:4
Issue:2
Pages:1-45
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:elite
global economy
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
sociology
globalization
democracy
social justice
Cultural development
modernization
leadership
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24487390
Abstract:This paper takes a critical look at globalization from the standpoint of the African experience of the West. It discusses 'modernization', 'development' and 'globalization' as different labels for the same basic process or mission. This mission is that of freeing the African of his natural and cultural Africanness, and inviting him or her to partake of a 'standardized, streamlined and global' consumer culture. However, granted the level of poverty in Africa, only an elite few do qualify to consume first or secondhand, for global availability is not synonymous with global affordability. The majority of Africans have to content themselves with what trickles down to them from relatives or patrons at the centre of power and resources. In the face of such inequities, it is difficult to envisage how ordinary Africans can relate to the global consumer culture in any other terms but frustration and disenchantment. The paper focuses on the processes and effects of cooptation or assimilation of the elite few by consumer capitalism, and how these elite few, in turn, use their consuming foreign as an identity and a source of prestige. These themes are articulated in six parts, namely: modernity as cultural superiority; modernity as consumerism and dependency; the modern leadership; the predicament of the rural and urban poor; social classes; and the future of democracy in an Africa trapped by the globalization of poverty. Bibliogr., notes, ref.
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