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Mediated agency: music and media against corruption in Tanzania
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
2013 (English)In: ICT for anti-corruption, democracy and education in East Africa / [ed] Katja Sarajeva, Kista: SPIDER , 2013, 11-26 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This chapter explores the use of music and digital media in the Chanjo campaign against corruption in Tanzania, focusing on mediations of agency. Building on Latour (2005), I use the concept mediated agency to refer to a process in which different cultural forms (mediators) bring about social transformation (agency). In so doing I recognize the ‘agency of art,’ especially its embeddedness in networks of social relations and its ‘practical mediatory role’ in processes of social change (Gell 1998). Similarly, I appreciate media and other mediators in the broader sense of ‘social mediation,’ with an emphasis on social interaction and exchange (Boyer 2012). Thus, while understanding agency in the sense of transformative action or practice, I build on anthropological theories of mediation, focusing on social processes of intervention and interaction that include but go beyond different forms of media. In this chapter, I will argue that the Chanjo campaign creates a platform that mediates the agency of participants, empowering them to speak up against corruption. The music itself is of course an important form of mediation, but so is the method of delivery, not least the interaction with the audience, as well as the mobility of the campaign. These layers of mediation intersect in different ways, which enforces the process of social and cultural transformation. Through digital mediations and remediations (Bolter and Grusin 1999), especially through social and mobile media, the campaign expands in time and space, thus extending agency beyond the tour itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kista: SPIDER , 2013. 11-26 p.
, Spider ICT4D Series, 6/2013
Keyword [en]
digital media, corruption, music, Tanzania, Facebook, mobile, agency
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102636ISBN: 9789163746031OAI: diva2:711989
Available from: 2014-04-12 Created: 2014-04-12 Last updated: 2014-04-15Bibliographically approved

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Uimonen, Paula
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