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Radio FieldsAnthropology and Wireless Sound in the 21st Century$
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Lucas Bessire and Daniel Fisher

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814771679

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814771679.001.0001

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Reconsidering Muslim Authority

Reconsidering Muslim Authority

Female “Preachers” and the Ambiguities of Radio-Mediated Sermonizing in Mali

(p.108) 5 Reconsidering Muslim Authority
Radio Fields

Dorothea Schulz

NYU Press

This chapter explores the role of broadcast radio in widening public discourses of Islamic moral renewal in Mali. It considers the debates among Muslims over radio-mediated sermonizing, and especially gender-specific forms of spiritual and moral authority, and links the terms of public debates around Islam with the recent proliferation of private FM radio stations. It also notes the increasingly prominent public presence that radio practice implies for Muslim women, specifically female “radio preachers.” Rather than view such media effects as evidence that media use results in “resistance” by oppressed Muslim women or a “democratization” of religious interpretation, the chapter suggests a less instrumentalist notion of radio technology.

Keywords:   broadcast radio, moral renewal, Mali, Muslims, sermonizing, moral authority, Islam, FM radio stations, Muslim women, female radio preachers

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