Publisher: African Studies Association

“Me Do Wu,” My Val: The Creation of Valentine'S Day In Accra, Ghana

Jo Ellen Fair
KEYWORDS: “Me Do Wu,” My Val: The Creation of Valentine's Day in Accra, Ghana

ABSTRACT:

Media privatization, commercial growth, and new concern in the popular culture about changing patterns of marriage, love, and sexuality led to a sudden embrace during the 1990s by upwardly mobile urban Ghanaians of a previously minor element of globally circulating mass culture, Valentine's Day. Far from a story of cultural imperialism, the rise of Valentine's Day in present-day Accra shows that local adoption of global consumerist preferences is best understood as a local process imbued with local meanings and values, deliberately and rationally pursued.

Media privatization, commercial growth, and new concern in the popular culture about changing patterns of marriage, love, and sexuality led to a sudden embrace during the 1990s by upwardly mobile urban Ghanaians of a previously minor element of globally circulating mass culture, Valentine's Day. Far from a story of cultural imperialism, the rise of Valentine's Day in present-day Accra shows that local adoption of global consumerist preferences is best understood as a local process imbued with local meanings and values, deliberately and rationally pursued.



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