Cafe Discussion 4

Harrison, Kiki, and Monica

We discussed the reading for last weeks lecture titled: The Worlds of the Yoruba Taxi Driver: An Interpretive Approach to Vehicle Slogans. We saw this as a valuable case study  that brought in the ideas of a lot of theorist we have been reading about. The first theorist we talked about, ideas correlate most with the reading. Derrida’s ideas of words and the reinforcement of class are extremely prevalent in the case of Yoruba taxi drivers. The slogans people find on the cabs emphasis social structures like religion, class, and age. We all agreed the emphasis on wording in this case study exemplified Derrida’s ideas.

The next theorist we discussed was Marx. We found the relationship between the owner of the taxi companies, the driver, and the Agebero fit into some of the ideas of ideas of Marx. We looked at Marx’s ideas of base and superstructure and how that fit into the equation of of these three positions of the taxi industry in Yoruba. Clearly there is a significant hierarchy between the positions in the industry. We found that they wage scale was the most obvious way in which economics reinforced social standing in society. We also thought that how if a taxi driver was earning to high of a wage he would be fired, in order to control the wage of drivers. We also found religion to play an important role in regards to how honestly drivers and Agebero reported their incomes from the day of driving. This relationship between religion and income is part of the relationship between base and superstructure, however it fits more into Althusser’s ideas because Althusser thought that religion fell into the Ideological state apparatus, while Marx did not really touch on religion.

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