Discourses of Love and Newspapers Advice Columns in Ghana

Jo Ellen Fair


Advice columns have animated Ghanaian newspapers since colonial times; interest in them shows no sign of abating. The dilemmas of courtship, love, sex, commitment, and marriage, vex Ghanaians just as they do people everywhere. Newspaper advice columns are a place for instruction and amusement regarding Ghana-specific variations on these dilemmas. Interviews columnists suggest that the Ghanaian press relies on the columns and similar “soft content” to stay relevant and vibrant. The content of columns supports the view that tension points in the domestic lives of Ghanaian populations drawn to them include definitions and insecurities about love, the meaning and importance of fidelity and commitment to a partner, and the financial responsibilities and implications attaching to relationships.

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