Original Articles

'Disintegrating the agenda'—strategies of transformation discourse


This article considers issues of language use in South Africa with regard to some salient discursive practices at an academic institution. In the contexts under review, language choice and use are embedded within a context of linguistic power relationships (high status versus low status, dominant versus minority, ideological, European versus African, the discourse conventions of an academic institution versus that of the 'struggle' etc.) which in turn reflect the political power strands in South African society. The article will analyse and illustrate how a second language code was extremely effectively manipulated by various stakeholder groupings when subjected to the forces of transformation power politics. This effective manipulation of a second language code, in this case the colonial language, by the colonised to undermine the power vested in a representative of the coloniser within an institution, among other things, undermined the accepted norms of the code itself.

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