chapter  5
23 Pages

Culture and Society

WithSheldon Gellar

Society and culture are in rapid flux and undergoing severe social strains. During the 1980s, Senegal, which had been remarkably free of the ethnic, racial, and religious strife plaguing other African nations, found that it was not immune to such problems. Popular culture and the arts are also thriving. Senegalese writers, artists, film-makers, and musicians have gained international fame. The press has expanded rapidly during the past decade, and TV programming has become more varied and sophisticated. Thus, Serer migrating to Dakar are assimilating into the dominant Wolof urban culture and many rural Serer in the peanut basin have been adopting Wolof lifestyles and agricultural practices after converting to Islam and joining predominantly Wolof brotherhoods. During the 1980s, the rapid expansion of irrigated agriculture on both sides of the Senegal River contributed to the intensification of interethnic conflicts in Mauritania and Senegal.