Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa

Daya Thussu, 2009, 288 pages, $39.95

, by WASSERMAN Herman

Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa examines the role that popular media could play to encourage political debate, provide information for development, or critique the very definitions of ‘democracy’ and ‘development’. Drawing on diverse case studies from various regions of the African continent, essays employ a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to ask critical questions about the potential of popular media to contribute to democratic culture, provide sites of resistance, or, conversely, act as agents for the spread of Americanized entertainment culture to the detriment of local traditions. A wide variety of media formats and platforms are discussed, ranging from radio and television to the Internet, mobile phones, street posters, film and music.

Grounded in empirical work by experienced scholars who are acknowledged experts in their fields, this contemporary and topical book provides an insight into some of the challenges faced throughout the African continent, such as HIV and Aids, poverty and inequality, and political participation. Examples are grounded in a critical engagement with theory, moving beyond descriptive studies and therefore contributing to the intellectual project of internationalizing media studies.

Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa provides students and scholars with a critical perspective on issues relating to popular media, democracy and citizenship outside the global North. As part of the Routledge series Internationalizing Media Studies, the book responds to the important challenge of broadening perspectives on media studies by bringing together a range of expert analyses of media in the African continent that will be of interest to students and scholars of media in Africa and further afield.