By Daniel Jordan Smith
E-mails providing an "urgent enterprise relationship" help in making fraud Nigeria's greatest resource of international profit after oil. yet scams also are a valuable a part of Nigeria's family cultural panorama. Corruption is so frequent in Nigeria that its electorate name it easily "the Nigerian factor." prepared or unwilling individuals 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 forestall it. A tradition of Corruption is a profound and sympathetic try to comprehend the dilemmas general Nigerians face each day as they struggle 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 colossal, web cafés the place the younger release their e mail scams, checkpoints the place drivers needs to bribe police, bogus organisations that siphon improvement relief, and homes painted with the fraud-preventive phrases "not for sale." this can be a kingdom 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 truly is most unlikely to understand 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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Additional info for A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria
Inherent in a political economy of patronage is the role that ordinary citizens play in the social reproduction of corruption, even as the vast majority of people are acutely aware that the system disproportionately benefits a few at the expense of the many. The most elite politicians, government officials, and economic moguls-federal ministers, state governors, NNPC managers, major construction and petroleum industry contractors, and so on-commonly reap many millions of dollars through corruption.
Second, because most anthropologists aim to understand human motives and behavior at least in part from the perspectives of the people they study, those processes that political scientists typically describe as corruption often appear in the anthropological literature under rubrics such as gift exchange, moral economies, reciprocity, and patronage. Anthropology's emphasis on local rationalities and cultural logics, and the largely sympathetic sensibility of anthropologists regarding their subjects, produces a disinclination to attach a seemingly derogatory Western label like corruption to the behavior of non-Western peoples.
The contradictions of corruption both mirror and explain Nigerians' growing expectations and frustrated aspirations for democracy and development. Further, I contend that understanding corruption and its discontents is central to explaining and connecting a wide range of important contemporary social phenomena, such as resurgent ethnic nationalism, the rising popularity of horn-again Christianity, vio lent vigilantism, and a range of common yet seemingly bizarre fears and accusations regarding witchcraft, cannibalism, and other occult practices.
A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria by Daniel Jordan Smith