By Daniel Jordan Smith
E-mails offering an "urgent company relationship" assist in making fraud Nigeria's biggest resource of international profit after oil. yet scams also are a imperative a part of Nigeria's family cultural panorama. Corruption is so common in Nigeria that its voters name it easily "the Nigerian factor." prepared 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 corruption does to their kingdom 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 to comprehend the dilemmas usual 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 bright portrait of Nigerian corruption--of national gas shortages in Africa's oil-producing sizeable, web cafés the place the younger release their electronic mail scams, checkpoints the place drivers needs to bribe police, bogus firms that siphon improvement reduction, and homes painted with the fraud-preventive phrases "not for sale." this can be a state the place "419"--the variety of an antifraud statute--has turn 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 most unlikely to realize Nigeria today--from vigilantism and resurgent ethnic nationalism to emerging Pentecostalism and accusations of witchcraft and cannibalism--without realizing the position performed through corruption and renowned reactions to it.
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Additional info for A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria
Political 419 has not been the exclusive province of the military. The most recent election in 2003, conducted by a democratically elected government, was widely viewed as 419 by Nigerians who saw the huge victories for President Obasanjo's ruling People's Democratic Party as a process of elitedriven selection masquerading as a democratic election. The concept and practices of 419 have extended to multiple spheres of contemporary life in Nigeria. Any new visitor to the country is bound to notice the odd phenomenon that literally thousands of houses and buildings in cities and towns bear the message "THis HOUSE Is NOT FOR SALE," painted prominently near the front door.
The centrality of the state in the system ofcorruption should not he surprising given its importance as an employer and provider of services but also given the sheer economic dominance of the state in a country where the principal source of wealth is petroleum, and oil revenues are directly controlled by the government (Watts 1992; Apter 2005). The significance of the state in Nigeria is intensified by the particular history and current configuration of Nigeria's petroleumdominated political economy (Watts 1992; Karl 1997; Apter 2005).
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