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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Racism, ethnicity and the media in Africa: reflections inspired by studies of xenophobia in Cameroon and South Africa
Author:Nyamnjoh, Francis B.ISNI
Periodical:Africa Spectrum
Geographic terms:Cameroon
South Africa
Subjects:mass media
External link:https://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/afsp/article/view/248
Abstract:This paper demonstrates the extent to which the media and the politics of belonging in Africa are torn between competing and often conflicting claims of bounded and flexible ideas of culture and identity. It draws on studies of xenophobia in Cameroon and South Africa, inspired by the resilience of the politicization of culture and identity, to discuss the hierarchies and inequalities that underpin political, economic and social citizenship in Africa and the world over, and the role of the media in the production, enforcement and contestation of these hierarchies and inequalities. In any country with liberal democratic aspirations, the media are expected to promote national citizenship and its emphasis on large-scale, assimilationist and territorially bounded belonging, while turning a blind eye to those who fall through the cracks as a result of racism and/or ethnicity. Little wonder that such an exclusionary articulation of citizenship is facing formidable challenges from its inherent contradictions and closures, and from an upsurge in the politics of recognition and representation by small-scale communities claiming autochthony. The paper critically examines conventional journalism in Africa, pointing to the creative processes underway in the lives of ordinary Africans as the way forward for meaningful journalism on and about Africa. The paper was earlier presented as a keynote address to the Conference on 'Racism, Ethnicity and the Media in Africa', held on 25-26 March 2010 in London. Bibliogr., sum. in English and German. [Journal abstract]