A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria by Daniel Jordan Smith

A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria by Daniel Jordan Smith

Length: 910 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Daniel Jordan Smith presents an outstanding work full of insight and appreciation of Nigerian culture. The content is enriched by his years spent working there, his marriage to a Nigerian woman and his obvious affinity for the Nigerian people. Smith’s primary aim is to reflect upon popular Nigerian sentiment toward corruption but also to explore just how entrenched corrupt practices have become in society. The book focuses on two main elements; how Nigeria is as much a ‘culture of corruption’ as it is ‘against corruption’ (p. 6).
The standard discourse that exists between Nigerians themselves as well as the rest of the world is that Nigeria has a history of debilitating corruption. Smith’s work is therefore appealing to a variety of audiences. The portrayal of this corruption in the media is fundamentally flawed; primarily because the roots of the term originate from a western conceptualisation that has too long been improperly applied, thus preserving stereotype and generalisation. To counter this representation of Nigerians, Smith gives a delicate account of the complicated system they find themselves having to navigate each day. He uses a substantial amount of stories, anecdotes and interviews from his time spent in Nigeria which creates an accessible narrative for the reader.
Chapters one through five introduce different forms of corruption within all levels of society, with the remaining two chapters focused on radical social attempts to combat corruption such as vigilante justice. The well-known email-scam is the first introduction to corruption – the common expression for it being 419, originating from its reference to fraud in the Nigerian penal code. 419 evolved to signify all corrupt activity in society; at the communi...


... middle of paper ...


... change for the better. The future is something left up to the imagination of the reader. Another lacking feature was of greater interaction between Smith’s insightful studies along with other literature in the field. To someone who is unfamiliar with corruption in Nigeria this was a fantastic introduction to its concepts but it also meant that the readers is left unsure of where Smiths arguments about Nigerian’s culture of corruption lies within the rest of the academic literature. This notwithstanding, overall Smith has accomplished creating a thought provoking and educational read.



Works Cited

Olivier de Sardan, Jean-Pierre. 1999. A moral economy of corruption in Africa? Journal of Modern African Studies 37 (1): 25-52.
Smith, Daniel J. 2008. A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria. Princeton University Press, New Jersey.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Rise of Materialism Exposed in Winter of Our Discontent Essay

- The Rise of Materialism Exposed in Winter of Our Discontent John Steinbeck showed alarm and disapproval to the rise of materialism and the post-World War 2, capitalistic morals found in America during the 1960's. These views were expressed through various characters in his novel The Winter of Our Discontent . This book dealt with the downward spiral of a good man, Ethan Allen Hawley. Pressured on all sides by influences once considered immoral, but now accepted in the 1960's, Ethan, a grocery store clerk from a family of sea captains and wealthy businessmen, "...traded a habit of conduct and attitude for comfort and dignity and a cushion of security" (257)....   [tags: Winter Our Discontent]

Free Essays
911 words (2.6 pages)

A Race for Rats in The Winter of Our Discontent Essay

- A Race for Rats in The Winter of Our Discontent Some runners look only to the finish line, choosing to ignore what they step on or who they pass along the way. In The Winter of Our Discontent, Steinbeck portrays the dawning of a selfish American society concerned solely with winning personal races. Set in a small New England town during the early sixties, the story focuses on the life of Ethan Allen Hawley, an intelligent man with prestigious family history who is employed as a grocer to the dismay of members of his family and the community....   [tags: Winter of Our Discontent Essays]

Better Essays
844 words (2.4 pages)

Adam Smith And The Bible Of Capitalism Essay examples

- Adam Smith, an economist, a journalist, an educator, and a philosopher. A man who singling shaped many political economy that we see today. Also a well know author of the books, The Wealth of Nation, which is none as “Bible of Capitalism”. In this paper I will inform you, the reader much more than just the few books he wrote. Today you will be informed on Adam Smith personal life, how he changed economic policies, and how his policies still impact today everyday economy. Adams Smith, an economist that wrote the “Bible of capitalism” all started in the city of Kirkcaldy in Scotland....   [tags: Adam Smith, Economics, Capitalism, David Hume]

Better Essays
882 words (2.5 pages)

Agricultural Development Of Rural Nigeria Essay examples

- At People First our objective is to facilitate agricultural development in rural Nigeria and to encourage harmony between the Nigerian government and its rural population. Our organization believes that due to its abundant agricultural resources Nigeria has the potential to reduce rural poverty through agricultural development. Therefore, at People First, we propose several initiatives to be taken in order to facilitate agricultural development in rural Nigeria in partnership with the Nigerian authorities....   [tags: Agriculture, Poverty, Nigeria, Economy]

Better Essays
1054 words (3 pages)

Essay on Trouble in Nigeria's North

- Trouble in Nigeria’s North “‘I saw the soldiers asking the people to lie on the ground. There was a small argument between the soldiers and the civilian JTF. The soldiers made some small calls and a few minutes later they started shooting the people on the ground. I counted 198 people killed at that checkpoint’ “(Amnesty: “Nigeria War Crimes”). 198 people lost loved ones that day, loved ones that should still be alive today. Imagine waking up every morning, not knowing if that will be your last time saying “good morning” to your family....   [tags: Nigeria War Crimes, Military, Nigeria Government]

Better Essays
1294 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Winter of Our Discontent, by John Steinbeck, 1996 ed.

- The Winter of Our Discontent, by John Steinbeck, 1996 ed. Within each action, man places his own self-interest. The morals of this are continuously questioned, and throughout The Winter of Our Discontent, Steinbeck explores both the traditional, Christian view and the natural view of the world and its corruption. He shows how Ethan Allen's life was that of a Christian, when he followed his morals, was very passive and generous, and even suffered and was a victim of betrayal. However, Steinbeck also shows that nature can take hold of a man, when Ethan's animalistic instincts and moral conflicts arise....   [tags: Steinbeck Winter Discontent]

Free Essays
1927 words (5.5 pages)

Desertification in Nigeria Essays

- Brief Introduction According to the World Ecology Report of Spring 2009, dry lands comprise of 41% of the earth’s total land area, and are home to roughly 2 billion people, or 34% of the earth’s population. It claims that currently (2009) over 250 million people in more than 100 countries were directly affected by desertification and more are at risk (This number would have increased already). The situation is more severe in Africa, where 66% of the total land area are arid or semi-arid. Not only is desertification harmful to the earth and its inhabitants, but it is also expensive each year, the world loses US$42 billion to desertification and its effects” (World Ecology Report, Spring 2009...   [tags: Nigerian environment]

Better Essays
2505 words (7.2 pages)

Essay about Nigeria

- To say it simply, Nigeria is a truly unique country. From the Independence of Britain in the 60’s to the fight of oil, the corruption of the government, the people of Nigeria haven’t seen stability in some time. Finally in May of 2010 President Umaru Yar'Adua dies of illness and Vice president Goodluck Jonathon takes charge as acting president. Later in March 2011 Goodluck wins the presidential election and is to this day the acting president of Nigeria. However, when you look at Nigeria you must look past the 36 states that encompass I and look at the country as two half’s....   [tags: Nigeria Essays]

Free Essays
1616 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on The Potential and Promise of Nigeria

- In order to fully grasp the concepts, issues, and developments that will be covered in this research paper, I have included background information on Nigeria. This will help you to grasp the main concepts, issues, developments and proposals that will later be relayed in this paper. Nigeria is a creation of European imperialism. Nigeria, a British political construct, is located on the Atlantic Coast in West Africa and is bordered by Benin on the west, Niger and Chad on the north and Cameroon on the east....   [tags: Nigeria Essays]

Better Essays
4345 words (12.4 pages)

Drug Abuse in Nigeria Essays

- Drug Abuse in Nigeria Today, you only have to switch on your television, radio or open a newspaper or magazine to be aware that the structure of our society is being contaminated by the growing evil plague of drug abuse. Drug abuse, is one of the major problems in the Nigerian society. Actually, almost every country faces such problem today. A lot of measures are taken to struggle against drug abuse, and, definitely, some changes for the better are evident. However, this problem is not eliminated and perhaps, will never be completely stopped....   [tags: Nigerian Society Illegal Narcotics]

Better Essays
1681 words (4.8 pages)