|Title||Popular fiction television production in Nigeria: global models, local responses|
This thesis explores the ways in which popular fiction television is produced in Nigeria in the 21st century and through it the investigation of social relations in the industry and the analysis of its products. In so doing the thesis also interrogates the assumptions of social theorists regarding the impact that the globalization of culture is supposed to have on local cultures.
Drawing on empirical evidence from fieldwork carried out in Nigeria between February and June 2006 involving participant observation in the location production of a television drama series, semi-structured and unstructured interviews with 15 people in Nigeria’s television industry, the thesis argues that despite some production practices in the industry not yet being, according to the practitioners, up to scratch, Nollywood has also evolved social and institutional structures which are recognisable features of the structure of the television industry everywhere. The thesis also argues that despite its having an industry that is ranked third in the world in terms of output, the West, but Hollywood in particular, retains a strong grip on the imagination of Nigeria’s popular fiction television producers.
For a more nuanced account of the impact of the globalization of culture on Nigeria’s popular fiction television industry, however, I propose that we need to go beyond how people speak about what they do, to how they do what they do. Analysis of popular conventions of a less powerful audio visual industry, like Nigeria’s Nollywood, alongside those of Hollywood will help unpack further the nature of the impact that dominant cultures are assumed to have on local cultures.