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Cultural Context of Creative Labour: An Empirical Study of New Media Work in Nigeria

Enaholo, Patrick Emakhu (2015) Cultural Context of Creative Labour: An Empirical Study of New Media Work in Nigeria. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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My study had two aims: first, to find out the extent to which claims about new media work that result from research in the West apply in the Nigerian context; and second, to investigate how new media workers in Nigeria negotiate the specificities of their cultural context. Its purpose was therefore to examine the experiences of new media workers in Nigeria, how these diverge from claims made around such work in Western-based literature and what these experiences suggest about new media and creative labour in Nigeria. To fulfill these aims, I conducted field research in Lagos, Nigeria through two focus group sessions with eight managers and owners of new media companies, interviews with thirty-five new media workers, and participant observation at a Lagos-based new media company. The study came up with two main findings. First, that the specific features of new media work in Nigeria are manifestations of broader themes which define the cultural context or ̳way of life‘ of people in Nigeria. Therefore, adverse conditions like software piracy, infrastructural breakdown and ethnic differentiation in new media work can be understood as manifestations of broader features of the Nigerian cultural context, namely, precariousness, entrepreneurialism and social networking. Second, that new media workers‘ negotiation of these conditions produce outcomes that have positive, instrumental and emancipatory dimensions. Specifically, I showed how software piracy contributes to the sustenance of a moral economy, how the negotiation of infrastructural breakdown manifests an entrepreneurialism of improvisation and how the mobilization of ethnicity leads to the formation of associative ties. Overall, my study foregrounds the relevance of cultural context in discourses about new media and, more generally, creative work in the cultural industries and, in so doing, offers a different perspective to analyses about such work in developing contexts of the Global South.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: New media, Nigeria, creative labour, piracy, entrepreneurialism, networking
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Media and Communication (Leeds)
Other academic unit: School of Media and Communication
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.680546
Depositing User: Mr Patrick Enaholo
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2016 15:31
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:52
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12129

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