An Ordinary of Agony: The Social and Political Production of Superfluous People

The present research proposal aims to work on an anthropology of misfortune in Cameroon by describing and analyzing critically various forms of malevolence in media narrative in Cameroun. I intend to thematize media productions in Cameroon as a site of affliction. My main thesis is that the media narratives tend to represent the ordinary life experience in Cameroon under the modes of agony and misfortune. I develop my approach within the theoretical perspective of phenomenological sociology. I will deliver a critical description of the world narrated by some journals and websites. Needless to say, the ‘reduction’ in the phenomenological sense of the term (what would it mean to find the originary meaning of things in this particular case?) is not complete in such an undertaking. It stops at the description of discursive formations, hence the need to use a sociological approach that allows them to be thematized indexically in their complexity. The goal is to decipher the pathological expressions that constitute a certain sense of life and that combined produce a dominant form of life that Renaud Barbaras describes as ‘lacunary’.

Project leader(s):
  • Parfait Akana (The Muntu Institute, Cameroon)

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