‘Lady no be so’: the image of women in contemporary church posters in Nigeria

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Abstract:

There is no doubt that churches are proliferating in Nigerian cities and church-going has become a popular culture. Mostly male, pastors are sacrosanct and unaccountable, just as their living standards far outweigh those of their members. In their domination of the contemporary Church in Nigeria, male pastors reproduce and use popular but subjective social images of women to apprehend female pastors. In terms of publicity, printed posters are the most prolific media churches employ. Yet, on these same posters, male pastors differentiate themselves and subordinate female pastors by using graphic principles of layout and visual placement of women's pictures vis-à-vis theirs. That the Church is male-dominated is clearly not in question. This paper interrogates how this domination is played out and the roles women are playing in re-presenting themselves in dominated church spaces. Using data from fieldwork, this paper analyses the image of women in Nigerian church posters, the vast collection of practices built around religious domination and the roles female pastors are playing in re-representing women in the Nigerian religious space.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1472586X.2012.717744

Publication date: November 1, 2012

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