Reenacting history : revealing fractures in contemporary Nigerian bureaucracy
This thesis seeks to explore the fraught tension of bureaucratic history between Nigeria’s federal government and the government of Lagos State within. Through a linguistic analysis of non-standard writing embedded in the formalized language of the bureaucratic document, I find that the state-federal divide constrained specifically to Lagos and Nigeria emerges as a local force entangled with the global development apparatus operating in many postcolonial African nations. I bring historical context and anthropological theories of language, bureaucracy, and scale to this project to understand how bureaucratic documents produced at different levels of Nigerian government (the federal government and the Lagos State government) reenact the historical fractures of the nation.
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