Re-traditionalisation, Competition or Aided Warfare? Interrogating the Drivers of Western and Local Fashion Among Female Students in Two Nigerian Universities
University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Dr. AIrene POGOSON who holds a B.A degree in History (1981) from the University of Ibadan, is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan from where she obtained her masters and doctoral degrees in 1984 and 1994 respectively. She has also attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, New York, USA, Fall Academy for Young International Policy Analysts in 2008. She is the first female lecturer in the history of the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, Ibadan. Before joining the University of Ibadan in 2000, Dr. Pogoson worked with the Presidential Panel on Nigeria Since Independence History Project as Research Fellow and as Administrative Secretary between 1981 and 2000. Between 2005 and 2007 in Abuja, Dr. Pogoson was also a Policy Analyst on Governance with the Independent Policy Group, a UNDP/Soros Foundation
funded Policy Think – Tank for President Olusegun Obasanjo. Dr. Pogoson is a member of a number of learned societies and organizations including the African Association of Political Science (AAPS); Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA), Nigerian Society of International Affairs (NSIA) and the Initiative for Women’s Studies in Nigeria (IWSN), among others. Since 2009, she has been on the Advisory Council of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) of the MO Ibrahim Foundation. She consults for a number of national and international agencies including Women Advocates’ Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), Initiative for Women’s Studies in Nigeria (IWSN), National Democratic Institute (NDI) , Centre for Democracy and Development CDD) , Action Aid Nigeria, USAID/Nigeria, and the Fredrich Erbert Stiftung. Dr. Pogoson research interests are in the following areas: Governance and Development; Gender and Women’s studies; International Politics and Nigeria’s foreign policy. She is well published internationally and locally and has many journal articles, chapters in books and monographs to her credit. She is widely travelled and has attended numerous international and local conferences.
Nigerian universities have come to represent a place where Western and traditional fashion frequently interact. Though the manifestations of this “interaction” are multiple (in terms of competition, acculturation, collaborations and even conflict), factors such as globalization, government, university authorities, the media, individuals, and religious groups have increasingly, served as drivers. Acting as drivers, not only do these factors influence and sometimes determine what is fashionable in support of one of the two, but there is a growing trend where some of these factors have forcefully determined what is acceptable or unacceptable in the university. This paper locates the contestations between Western and traditional fashion in terms of re-traditionalisation, competition and/or aided warfare among female students of two public Nigerian Universities: University of Lagos and University of Ibadan, and two private universities, Babcock and Covenant. Also, based on an examination of these emerging trends among female students at the selected universities, the paper engages two interrelated questions: What are the representations of these factors (drivers) in Nigerian universities? And second, to what extent is the contestation between Western and local fashion on university campuses in Nigeria determined or influenced by these drivers? To engage these questions, a number of In-depth Interviews (IDIs) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) on fashion on four Nigerian University Campuses were undertaken to get responses from relevant stakeholders.