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The Kano Durbar: Political aesthetics in the bowel of the elephant

The Kano Durbar: Political aesthetics in the bowel of the elephant Political aesthetics deploy theatrical techniques to unite performers and audience into a cultural community, thereby distracting from conflicts. The Kano Durbar in northern Nigeria demonstrates how the aesthetics of power can promote a place-based political culture. Although power in Kano rests on a wobbly three-legged stool of traditional, constitutional and religious authority, the status quo celebrated by the Durbar holds back ideological challengers like Boko Haram even as it perpetuates distance from the unified nation-state. The Durbar works as a social drama that helps sustain a Kano-based collective solidarity against the threats of ethnic/religious tensions and Salafist extremism. A cultural-sociological and dramaturgical analysis of the Durbar demonstrates how weak sources of power can support one another when bound together in an aesthetically compelling ritual. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Cultural Sociology Springer Journals

The Kano Durbar: Political aesthetics in the bowel of the elephant

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd
Subject
Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general; Sociology, general; Sociology of Culture; Media Sociology
ISSN
2049-7113
eISSN
2049-7121
DOI
10.1057/ajcs.2012.8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Political aesthetics deploy theatrical techniques to unite performers and audience into a cultural community, thereby distracting from conflicts. The Kano Durbar in northern Nigeria demonstrates how the aesthetics of power can promote a place-based political culture. Although power in Kano rests on a wobbly three-legged stool of traditional, constitutional and religious authority, the status quo celebrated by the Durbar holds back ideological challengers like Boko Haram even as it perpetuates distance from the unified nation-state. The Durbar works as a social drama that helps sustain a Kano-based collective solidarity against the threats of ethnic/religious tensions and Salafist extremism. A cultural-sociological and dramaturgical analysis of the Durbar demonstrates how weak sources of power can support one another when bound together in an aesthetically compelling ritual.

Journal

American Journal of Cultural SociologySpringer Journals

Published: Feb 12, 2013

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