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The role of discourse in identity formation and the manufacture of ethnic minorities in Zimbabwe

Ndhlovu, Finex (2007) The role of discourse in identity formation and the manufacture of ethnic minorities in Zimbabwe. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 2 (2). pp. 131-147. ISSN 1744-7143

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The notion of ethnic minorities is a highly contested subject that cannot be fully explained in terms of demographic facts alone as it is indexically linked to struggles over sociopolitical power, cultural domination and control. Ethnic minorities have to be conceptualised as fluid and transitory phenomena mediated and reconstituted by various forms of discursive practices. Drawing on primary and secondary data collected in Zimbabwe, this paper problematises the role of discourse in the manufacture of ethnic minorities for purposes of social exclusion and other related forms of discrimination. Chief among the discourses of constructing ethnic minorities considered in this paper are the following: discursive practices underwriting the hegemony of dominating ethnic groups; the use of languages as prime markers of ethnic and national identity; as well as the appropriation and abuse of terminology such as ‘minority’ and ‘majority’ in pursuit of exclusionary political agendas.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID16642, discursive constructs, identity formation, ethnicity, language politics, language marginalisation
Subjects: Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Current > FOR Classification > 2004 Linguistics
Current > FOR Classification > 2003 Language Studies
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Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2011 05:56
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2011 00:47
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Citations in Scopus: 8 - View on Scopus

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