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Rosemary Mulvey

Professor Turkon
Cultural Anthropology 04
September 15, 2016
Watch and Pray Reaction Paper

1. Nancy Lundgren describes many examples of globalization in numerous

instances throughout her book, but the one she returns to most out of

them all are the clothing habits of the Fante which consist of a strange

mix of traditional Ghanaian clothing and decontextualized American

clothes. This is problematic for the Fante because their taste for American

fashion is damaging their economy by requiring them to import more and

rely less on the local clothing industry. (15-18). In the same economic

vein, incorporation into the industrial world is forcing gender roles and

dynamics to be shifted to accommodate “contemporary gender

constructs” and the new financial demands put on the family unit (88-89).

Church practices also carry the effects of globalization as the traditional

vestments that are so unsuited for the climate are still worn, despite the

suffocating heat. Lundgren says, watching a service unfold, “They look

like the gowns worn in the Catholic churches. . . or in the photographs of

the Vatican or the “mother” church in Europe or America, but they are

worn and tattered. . . Is this a masquerade? What is this ritual? Why is it

not ‘traditional?’ This is grotesque. Everything is out of place,” (8).

Lundgren also discusses globalization when she is discussing why the

Fante would want electricity. They believe their lives will be better, but

Lundgren is skeptical which confuses them (23). Lundgren says later in

such as Fante culture being suffocated by western/American ways of life such as dress. “’Development. Globalization can be. has begun for better or worse. Lundgren characterizes these effects as overall detrimental to Fante culture as it is unnatural to their history and damaging to their stability to force American principles on the Fante. a) I believe that Lundgren gives a fair representation of the effects of globalization on the Fante. defined as the trumping of indigenous culture by an invasive culture. . Nevermind [sic] that local survival still depends on sharing and family ties. Lundgren discusses aid reliance and the effects on the economies of African countries that become dependent on the aid rather than being self-sufficient. using these examples. American-style industrialization and popularity is also damaging to their local economies like in the case of imported versus locally made clothing. and family structures. as it is with electricity. and the fragile infrastructure is held together primarily through the lingering remains of a highly effective.” (32). enforced. local “traditional” governance system. Local culture suffers when new practices are introduced. even if they seem to encourage it. electricity. or made more popular. religion. Globalization can be damaging to cultures that thrive in a society without the trappings of modern . It is true that many American people are biased against African people and “third-world” nations which encourages their misguided attempts to aid African countries by financially supporting them and encouraging them to be more Americanized. .’ however.the chapter.

and eyes without recognizing their own beauty (49). I am supposed to help them with their decisions. When Lundgren asked what made them want her to be Queen Mother. Lundgren states. a chief. “The say that they have seen me in the village with the people and the children and that I look like a generous. In summarizing some responsibilities. She has political and social sway. demonstrated by the women who envy her pale complexion. and when not. She is a white woman and there is racism ingrained into the people she is asked to be Queen Mother of. hair. good person. who see that industrialization as something they want to achieve. the kind that should be queen mother. Lundgren has a few ethical dilemmas when asked to be Queen Mother regarding why she is asked and the appropriateness of it. when to take my shoes off. a) I think Nancy Lundgren made a smart decision if not a good decision to become Queen Mother.” (41). rather than another culture with great flaws and drawbacks. I mean that if Lundgren had refused . The Queen Mother is the leader of the village and is respected by everyone there for her position. I am to know why and when the gong [sic] gong is run. A Queen Mother is a leader like a chief of a village. I must know how to dress. like the Fante. elders. She is also concerned they do not see her as more than a “brunyi” or a white person because of her novelty and presumed wealth (49). America.” (49). why there is a chairman. and a secretary. how to sit. 2. By this. “I am supposed to know everything and everybody. and whom to give allegiance to and to whom not. a linguist.

Queen Mother is a dignified title and by Lundgren as a white. rich outsider assuming it creates a problematic power dynamic that would be acceptable if the Queen Mother came from Asebu Abaasa rather than the United States. as an outsider. their reasons for wanting her to become Queen Mother are potentially problematic and a native member of the village would likely have been a better candidate for Queen. Lundgren. .to become Queen Mother. her relationships with the residents of Asebu Abaasa could have become strained by refusing the honor and she may have isolated herself and made them more closed off which would be detrimental to her work. However. could never understand Asebu Abaasa the way a qualified woman from the village does.