Humor, Silence, and Civil Society in Nigeria

Humor, Silence, and Civil Society in Nigeria

Ebenezer Obadare


University of Rochester Press



An important contribution to the debate on forms of civil society in Africa and elsewhere, and to the global literature on dissent.
In Humor, Silence, and Civil Society in Nigeria, Ebenezer Obadare offers an innovative perspective on the idea and reality of civil society. Mobilizing a wide range of concepts and insights from political science, African studies, sociology, cultural studies, media studies, anthropology, communications theory, and international development, Obadare develops a notion of civil society that radically departs from the literature's axiomatic focus on voluntary civic associations and focuses instead on more informal strategies of resistance, such as humor and silence. Compellingly argued, Humor, Silence, and Civil Society in Nigeria raises provocative questions on a topic of keen importance for students, scholars, and policymakers.

Ebenezer Obadare is professor of sociology at the University of Kansas. He is coeditor of Civic Agency in Africa: Arts of Resistance in the 21st Century (James Currey, 2014).

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782046912), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


188 pages
9x6 in
Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora
Hardback, 9781580465519, February 2016
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC POL053000, HIS001050, SOC002010
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Table of Contents

Introduction: On the Terms of a Debate
A Terrain of Contention
An African Discourse
The Uses of Levity
Siddon Look
Works Cited


A wonderful excellent and thought-provoking read. VOLUNTAS

[E]xamines the practice of humor and silence in Nigeria as a way of considering an alternative to the civil society-NGO nexus . For Obadare, it is important to take humor seriously as a way of understanding grassroots criticism of politicians and economic inequality made by members of civil society - outside of associations . a thoughtful analysis of civil society. IJAHS

A rich and highly readable meditation on overlooked aspects of public life in Nigeria. AFRICA AT LSE

The book is unique and innovative. JOURNAL OF MODERN AFRICAN STUDIES

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