Oxford Street, Accra: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism by Ato Quayson looks at the successes of development, urbanization and modernization in the city of Accra, Ghana. Specifically looking at the cosmopolitan, globalized, modern Oxford Street and the urbanization of Ghana in the move towards modernity. Throughout the introduction and chapters Quayson answers how Oxford Street has become this global modern area in Accra, Ghana, the chapters also give insight on the impact of urbanization and modernization in Ghana. Technology has had a large impact as well as advertising, this has connected the developed world to the forefront of Oxford Street with Mobile Devices and advertisement. Salsa dancing is also proof of this cosmopolitanism taking place where a completely different culture is available and sought by the people of Accra the members of this new global village. Oxford Street conveys the message that with modernization there is a shrinking of the gap between Underdeveloped countries such as Ghana and the developed world. That technology and the cohesion of multiple cultural ideas and practices is the way to development. The cultural ideas that Quayson is pointing to come down to the culture of ‘western’ capitalism.
As Neocolonialism of Ghana proceeds, will Ghana become just another ‘Western’ Country? Is the upside of development worth the cultural shift away from traditional towards that of western ideals of modernity and Capitalism?
In most post-colonial countries such as Ghana there is a sense of cultural affirmation when gaining independence. But what happens now is a neocolonialism society, where the global village and the western modernity and capitalism are the colonist. Development is of course created and these countries are able to enter the global economy. Though the smaller this gap between developed and underdeveloped becomes, there is a loss of traditional culture. Oxford Street is described as a bustling street of capitalism, much like wall street or even King Street in Waterloo. It losses its very own uniqueness and becomes one of the many streets of the global village. The upside is though that poverty and many development issues can be solved. Or is it?
The urbanization in Ghana, and the development of the city of Accra has created a larger Gap between those in the urban and those in the rural. Modernity and globalism has come to the city of Accra, what about the rest of Ghana. Are those people that are not part of the urban left behind in underdevelopment? The neocolonialism culture that is discussed in the writings is focused on one street in one City. What about the rest of the streets, the rest of the country? Success may have an outward effect in the future, but there will be complications. Grassroots cultures will likely clash with Oxford Street culture. There will be issues in creating a hybrid culture that appeals to traditional Ghanian culture and global culture. Like many developing countries there must be a middle ground or there would be a risk of clashing ideas, and a risk of becoming a global village with no distinct identity.
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