From Culture of Silence to Culture of Contest: Hegemony, Legitimacy and the Press in Ghana

  • Jennifer Hasty


History, social reality and their interpretation is often a matter of standpoint among a people. This often is the case between political leadership and its opposition, each interpreting past and contemporary experiences in its own ways to suit its definite standpoints. In both cases, however, the power of the media, especially the press to advance either viewpoint cannot or should not be discounted. This paper1 thus explores the critical role of the press in the development and propagation of mass culture in the Ghanaian society during the Jerry Rawlings regime, within the context of economic performance vis-à-vis the hegemonies of development and structural adjustment. It depicts the transition from a mass culture of silence to one of protest and contest through the media. This it achieves by proffering an alternative discourse to the official version of Ghana's history under Rawlings. It therefore seeks to fill such gaps as the notion of what official political contest actually constituted, and the struggles between the overbearing strategies of governmentality and the eruptive and evasive tactics of the subaltern.

(The Journal of Cultural Studies: 2001 3(2): 348-359)

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eISSN: 1595-0956