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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ghanaian popular performance and the urbanisation process: 1900-1980
Author:Collins, JohnISNI
Periodical:Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana (ISSN 0855-3246)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ghana
West Africa
performing arts
popular music
Urban folklore
rural-urban migration
Abstract:Popular entertainment is relevant to the 'lure of the city' in two important ways. First, many genres have been created by and cater for new urban migrants. Second, the actual performances of itinerant African groups, such as concert parties, introduce modern ideas and fashions to the villages and therefore act as an agent of 'urban pull'. Focusing on Ghana, this paper examines the subject under five headings: popular performance's connection with urban migration; its role in urban socialization (the shows of popular performing groups function as a cathartic tension reducing medium; the plays provide positive and negative guidelines for behaviour; the texts warn their audiences of the dangers of urban life); its presentation of tensions within the traditional extended family system (the hostile attitude to polygamy found in the popular texts; their sympathetic depiction of the plight of orphans and neglected children; their concern with inheritance disputes; their portrayal of family tensions in terms of witchcraft accusations); its function as a contemporary urban lingua franca; and its reflections on the inequalities of wealth within the modern socioeconomic system. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]