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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Carpenter's Revolt: Youth, Violence and the Reinvention of Culture in Nigeria
Author:Adebanwi, WaleISNI
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Nigeria
ethnic conflicts
youth organizations
Ethnic and Race Relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3876059
Abstract:Interethnic violence has become pervasive under Nigeria's five-year old democratic government. The first ethno-cultural group to spark off intense interethnic clashes was the Oodua People's Congress (OPC), an organization of mainly Yoruba youth in urban areas formed by a medical doctor and pro-democracy activist, Dr. Frederick Fasehun. This paper draws on Bourdieu's notion of habitus and Gramsci's 'agential' conception of culture to explore the construction and activities of the OPC. In particular, it examines the cultural repertoires of the youthful, 'militant' faction of the OPC, pointing to ways in which violence and ritual can be interpreted both as an instrumentally rational strategy of power struggle and as a form of symbolic action with cultural meanings. The OPC case strongly challenges the bifurcation of tradition and modernity, given the way the group appropriates culture in negotiating Yoruba identity, while also retaining democratic rhetoric. The paper argues that the activities of the OPC constitute not stable, bounded manifestations of culture, but rather fluid, ambivalent and paradoxical ethnic-power relations and formations. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]