Week 3 blog post

This week when reading chapters 3 and 4 of Oxford Street Accra, I found various points the authors brought up interesting. First, the title interested me, as the only Oxford Street I know is the one in London. This title makes the reader relate both the Oxford streets together, making one think that perhaps the Oxford street in Ghana is meant in some way to possibly be modelled after the prestigious one in London? When we get into the chapters, a large portion of chapter 3 is dedicated to cell phones and their advertising on Oxford Street, Accra. Quayson gives the reader much knowledge about the increasing use in cell phones in the country, stating facts such as ‘with an overall subscriber base of 24,884,195, it is considered one of the fastest growing cell phone markets in Africa’ (pg 146). I think the aspect of cell phones in this chapter really brings out the point that the author is trying to make of how Ghana is becoming more globalized through their use of more developed technologies. I think it is important that the author includes this aspect and uses cell phones to represent the development of the country. I find it interesting however how Quayson focuses only on Oxford Street, Accra, and not on any other developing streets in Ghana or any other country to contrast the development happening on Oxford Street. My question for this chapter then is why do you think that the author only analyzes the one street in the one country to show the development of the country of Ghana, instead of contrasting the street to possibly another street in Africa or the world, possibly Oxford Street in London? Wouldnt a contrast illustrate the development of Oxford Street in Accra more?

The 4th chapter of the book analyzes salsa dancing on Oxford Street in Accra. I found this analysis interesting in various ways as well and again took the meaning for writing about salsa to show a modernization or development of the culture, as if showing to readers that their culture in Ghana is also globalized. I found the point Quayson brings up during his interviews with those who have grown to love salsa dancing interesting. He states that before these people did salsa dancing they partook in regular leisure activities, but after doing salsa dancing, they lived and preached salsa, often trying to get their friends to join and taking on the role of salsa ‘evangelists’ (pg 169). I found this point interesting because from my perspective, since salsa dancing is clearly not from the Ghanian culture, these people embrace the dance more, as a means to show that their culture too is hybridized and globalized. when viewing both these chapters, I find it interesting that the author chooses to look at various aspects, here focusing on salsa dancing and cell phones, which are clearly not from Africa, and he finds a way to show how they have been integrated into the culture. To me, it seems as if the author is trying to prove a point. Why does the author in these chapters choose to focus on aspects of the culture which are not originally African, is he using this to make a point or to make Ghana seem a bit more developed than it is?

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