Situating Globality

African Agency in the Appropriation of Global Culture


Situating Globality challenges the dominant view that globalization is a primary threat to African societies and economies. It explores how these societies are appropriating elements of the emerging global culture, arguing the significance of this appropriation in local struggles, the expression of critical thinking, ideologies and ritual styles of behaviour. Combining an interest for micro-level processes of situating the multifaceted process of globality with the exploration of reflexivity, creativity and the production of knowledge, Situating Globality straddles the divide between anthropological and philosophical representations of Africa in the new world order. The first section examines philosophical issues relating to the production of knowledge in and about Africa from a globalizing perspective, while the other sections include case studies showing how these processes are accommodated in everyday life.


EUR €53.00USD $65.00

Biographical Note

Wim van Binsbergen is Professor of Intercultural Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Senior Researcher at the African Studies Centre. His research interests include religion in Africa, intercultural philosophy, African and Ancient history, Afrocentricity, ethnicity, and globalization. He has pursued these interests in Tunisia, Zambia, Guinea Bissau, and Botswana, besides historical projects on South Central Africa and the Ancient Near East. Rijk van Dijk is an Anthropologist and Senior Researcher at the African Studies Centre working on the modern dynamics of religion and globalization in Africa, with a particular interest in Pentecostalism and transnationalism in Ghana, Botswana and Malawi.

Review Quotes

"On the whole, the book seems to have everything within the list of subjects it treats." – Mokethi B.G. Mothlhabi, in: Religion & Theology, 2004

Table of contents

Contents Maps vii Photographs vii PART I: INTRODUCTION 1 Situating globality: African agency in the appropriation of global culture 3 Wim van Binsbergen, Rijk van Dijk & Jan-Bart Gewald PART II: GLOBALITY THROUGH APPROPRIATION: ANALYSES AT THE CONTINENTAL LEVEL 2 Global and local trends in media ownership and control: Implications for cultural creativity in Africa 57 Francis B. Nyamnjoh 3 Global media and violence in Africa: The case of Somalia 90 Jan-Bart Gewald 4 Can ICT belong in Africa, or is ICT owned by the North Atlantic region? 107 Wim van Binsbergen 5 ‘Man will live well’: On the poetics of corruption in a global age 147 Sanya Osha PART III: GLOBALITY THROUGH WORLD RELIGIONS 6 ‘Beyond the rivers of Ethiopia’: Pentecostal Pan-Africanism and Ghanaian identities in the transnational domain 163 Rijk van Dijk 7 Global connections, local ruptures: The case of Islam in Senegal 190 Roy Dilley 8 How is a girl to marry without a bed? Weddings, wealth and women’s value in an Islamic town of Niger 220 Adeline Masquelier PART IV: GLOBALITY AND AFRICAN HISTORIC RELIGIONS 9 The social life of secrets 257 Ferdinand de Jong 10 The persistence of female initiation rites: Reflexivity and resilience of women in Zambia 277 Thera Rasing List of authors 311


All those interested in the cultural study of globalization in terms of anthropology, philosophy, cultural studies, political science and international relations.