European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies (EJELLS)

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Ideology and Identity: Operating Together (Published)

Ideology and identity are inevitably ubiquitous in most discourse types. This mere pervasiveness, more precisely in political discourse, is presumably sufficient to generate much debate as to whether ideology and identity find their locus in context or in other constructs. In view of this, this paper’s main focus is manifold. It attempts to study Biden’s discourse (selected tweets) within a critical discourse analysis framework while deploying a qualitative method of analysis. Approaching this discourse genre from the latter perspective aims at identifying how both concepts interact to generate a better understanding of discourse. To dismantle the way meaning is construed, some discourse strategies (van Dijk, 2004) like the presentation of the ‘self’ and the ‘other’ are to be studied within context. Results show that Biden’s discourse is ideological and thus mirrors common identity goals. Moreover, positive self-presentation has been dominant in a daunting situation where most messages were purposefully rallying for all Americans.

Citation: Abidi Hajer (2021) Ideology and Identity: Operating Together, European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies, Vol.9, No.7, pp.39-48

Keywords: Discourse, Identity, Ideology, Messages, self-presentation

Discursive Construction of the Ideological Self and Other in Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s The Last of the Strong Ones (1996) (Published)

This paper investigates the linguistic resources deployed by Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo in The Last of the Strong Ones to construct group solidarity and social identity. Conducting critical discourse analysis, the paper explores the discourses of resistance of a typically black agrarian Umuga community to the domination of Kosiri’s or the white settlers. The analysis reveal the use of the discursive strategies of membership categorization, referential nomination and agency in the construction of the in-group and out-group dichotomies of Us and Them. The black population in Umuga, which makes up the majority in the community, displays group solidarity based on their shared social representations and ideologies against the more powerful white settlers, who, by contrast, make up the minority. The narrator also indexes the domination and exclusion of Umuga people using agentless passive constructions. The significance of this study lies in showing that the reader’s understanding of how textual resources index participants’ social identity, their ideological attitudes and the power relations that underlie discursive interactions enhances text processing and interpretation.

Keywords: Ideology, Nigerian Literature, critical discourse analysis, discursive strategy, self-presentation

The Use of Power and Ideology in Guantanamo: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Andy Worthington’s The Guantanamo Files (Published)

The research deals with the use of power and ideology in Andy Worthington’s The Guantanamo Files (2007) as the narratives (generally called Gitmo narratives) of the detainees show the betrayal of American ideals, U.S. constitution and international laws about human rights. Since its inception, Guantanamo Bay Camp is an icon of American military power, hegemony and legal exceptionalism in the ‘Global War on Terror’. In order to the analyze the selected text, the ‘discourse as social practices’ with special reference to power and ideology which is the third dimension of the tripartite framework proposed by Norman Fairclough (1995), is applied comprehensively as a theoretical framework for this research. The research reveals the truth and reality of the power structure and hegemonic designs of American ideology to discriminate and to stereotype the male Muslims as terrorists in Guantanamo. The discourse of these Gitmo narratives is also related with the issue of closing this notorious camp which has gained a great attention for the international media, lawyers, human rights activists and civil society.

Keywords: Gitmo narratives, Guantanamo bay, Hegemony, Ideology, Power, ‘War on Terror’

(Re) Collecting the Memory of Bulawayo through Naming In Short Writings from Bulawayo (Published)

The fundamental concern of this paper is that the process of naming in the short writings from Bulawayo, the ‘ City of Kings’ that includes short stories and poems encodes the ideological envision of Bulawayo as the second largest city in Zimbabwe. The last hundred years’ social history of Bulawayo has been sculpted alongside the broader Zimbabwean national history, by particular circumstances of colonial conquest occupation; of colonial capitalism, with its lopsided economy, a system of circulatory labour migration; and of policy controversies and resistance regarding the control of space: physical, social, political, psychological, and historical. This paper presents that these factors are typical of most cities in Southern Africa. What distinguishes Bulawayo an urban centre is not only its distinct socio-historical experience with white settler governments and social change but also its experience with the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) government in the post-independence period, which has been characterised by politics of exclusion and attempts to obliterate the experiences of the Ndebele ethnic group in the national cultural symbols. Antroponyms, geographical names, names based on history and brand names, used by authors in short writings from Bulawayo, have a telling effect as they capture the cultural heritage and identity of the City of Bulawayo. The paper draws its examples from an understanding that the postcolonial period, within which Zimbabwe as a country celebrated its independence in 1980, has witnessed a massive drive towards renaming of streets, buildings, places, schools, and other social amenities in order to recapture the identity of Bulawayo and represent its peculiarity to the other cities in Zimbabwe and the whole world in general. Also of note has been the overriding need to preserve the exploits of the liberation war icons from Matabeleland. The continued redefinition of the history of Bulawayo, particularly in the post-2000 period characterised by extensive closure of companies and de-industrialisation, has been a major concern as the short writings have shown an attempt to restore the glamour of Bulawayo and the subaltern representation that has characterised the City as a marginalised entity in comparison to other cities such as Harare. In the final analysis, this paper engages with both the theoretical and literary discourses of regionification, nationhood and representation as forms of identity creation. In this light, the paper uses the socio-historical approach to premise its arguments.  

Keywords: Bulawayo, Ideology, Region, Short Writings, Subaltern

The Garden Party Will Go on or Not? Who Persuades Whom? : A Modality Analysis of Mansfield’s “The Garden Party (Published)

This paper seeks to analyze the modality in the interactive exchanges of language as the vehicle of persuasion amongst three characters –Laura, Jose and their mother Mrs. Sheridan- over the question ‘whether or not the garden party goes on’ in the legendary short story ‘The Garden Party’ by Katherine Mansfield. Laura’s strong impulse, on an ethical ground, to put off the party following an impecunious neighbor’s coincidental demise is asserted largely through ‘modality of desirability’. Nonetheless, in the realm of reality, their high ranking whereabouts in societal structure, trepidation of losing face to the already invited visitors, Mrs. Sheridan’s and Jose’s views on Laura’s proposition are outright negative and their reinforcement on the ongoing of the party is essentially demonstrated through their predominant choices of ‘modality of validity’ dedicated in their utterances. Ergo, the garden party does not correlate with the impoverished fellow’s death and it goes on. Fowler‘s (1985) proposed modality categories have been followed in examining how modality makes sense of ‘persuasion’ in terms of the characters’ conversations in the cited text. The outstanding excerpt from the aforesaid text that involves the argument over the settlement of either continuation or discontinuation of the party has been exploited as the data for this modality analysis and a purposive sampling of the data has been adopted.                          

Keywords: : Modality, Ideology, The Garden Party, persuasive, power relationship, social class

Lexicalisation as a Tool for Ideological Expression in News (Published)

The use of critical discourse analysis has led to the development of a different approach to the understanding of media messages. This study focusses on the deployment of lexical items by the broadcast media to portray the political actors in Osun State, South-western Nigeria. The data for the study centred on politics and are derived from selected radio news of Osun State Broadcasting Corporation, Nigeria. The selection of data was done by purposive sampling and cover the period from 2007 to 2010. This period of time was very significant because of the political activities as a result of the elections in Osun State, Nigeria. A content analysis of the data was carried out at the surface and deep levels using the linguistic approach and critical discourse analysis to bring out the ideologies and the underlying meanings embedded in the texts. The analysis reveals that the news items feature lexical choices projecting positive self-presentation of the ruling political party and negative other-presentation of the opponent.

Keywords: : lexical choices, Ideology, Politics, broadcast media

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