By Daniel Jordan Smith
E-mails presenting an "urgent enterprise relationship" assist in making fraud Nigeria's biggest resource of international profit after oil. yet scams also are a vital a part of Nigeria's household cultural panorama. Corruption is so common in Nigeria that its electorate name it easily "the Nigerian factor." keen or unwilling members in corruption at each flip, Nigerians are deeply ambivalent approximately it--resigning themselves to it, justifying it, or complaining approximately it. they're painfully conscious of the wear and tear corruption does to their state and spot themselves as their very own worst enemies, yet they've been not able to prevent it. A tradition of Corruption is a profound and sympathetic try and comprehend the dilemmas regular Nigerians face on a daily basis as they fight to get ahead--or simply survive--in a society riddled with corruption.
Drawing on firsthand adventure, Daniel Jordan Smith paints a vibrant portrait of Nigerian corruption--of national gas shortages in Africa's oil-producing sizeable, net cafés the place the younger release their e mail scams, checkpoints the place drivers needs to bribe police, bogus businesses that siphon improvement relief, and homes painted with the fraud-preventive phrases "not for sale." this can be a nation the place "419"--the variety of an antifraud statute--has develop into an inescapable a part of the tradition, and so common as a metaphor for deception that even a betrayed lover can say, "He performed me 419." it really is very unlikely to realize Nigeria today--from vigilantism and resurgent ethnic nationalism to emerging Pentecostalism and accusations of witchcraft and cannibalism--without realizing the function performed by way of corruption and well known reactions to it.
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Extra resources for A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria
Even at my tennis club, where members are obviously educated and elite, some people spoke as if individual Nigerians would all be wealthy if only the government gave each citizen an equal share of the annual oil revenue-a fantasy belied by the numbers. But Nigerians are surely correct to believe that their country would be, could he, and should be better off were it not for corruption. " Achebe laments this national inclination as a sign of resignation and says his book aims to challenge such complacency.
For example, several anthropologists have utilized Marcel Mauss's seminal work on gift exchange to explain how interactions that look like corruption to outside observers frequently serve crucial social and symbolic functions in local contexts (Yang 1989, 1994; Yan 1996; Werner 2000). Other anthropologists have emphasized the importance of solidarity networks and the logics of patron-clientism through which power and prestige depend on the conspicuous redistribution of accumulated wealth in a logic that encourages corruption (Olivier de Sardan 1999; Smith 2001b).
It otters an answer to the question of how ordinary Nigerians can be, paradoxically, active participants in the social reproduction of corruption even as they are also its primary victims and principal critics. Taking its cue from Nigerians, who see corruption at work in every corner of social life, the hook presents an ethnographic study of corruption, demonstrating that there is much to be learned about social action, collective imagination, and cultural production when they are seen through the lens of an anthropological account of corruption.
A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria by Daniel Jordan Smith