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Genre as Medium of Cultural Hegemony of Group Power through Control over the Structures of Text and Talk

By Rukya Hassen

Abstract

This study is a critical discourse analysis of one discourse genre – abstain from work on religious holidays- in the multicultural community of South Wollo, Ethiopia. Discourses are seen to affect our views on all things; it is not possible to avoid discourse. Discourses is a way of representing aspects of the world - the processes, relations and structures of the material world, the mental world of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and the social world. Like elsewhere, in the traditional Ethiopian cultures, there are many social practices that govern conscience. There are many rules of thumb that people agree to govern their lives with. Different discourses from various social practices in the traditional Ethiopian community that are transmitted through oral discourse were taken for analysis. The discourse on this was taken from a two-month partial ethnography participant observation and key informant interviews or talk conducted with seven 50 to 65-years old Christian and Muslim informants in Ambasel in 2015 G.C. The result of the study shows that some discourse genres are imposed on others. Discourse has become both the means and the end of social practice. Discourse is shaped by many factors such as culture, language, participant, and history. It, in turn, shapes them back. Discourse shapes and reshapes the thought and practice of the speech community who owns it. There are hegemonic discourse genres. The discourse genre of ‘abstain from work on religious holidays’ have become one of a hegemonic kind. Those who are not the members of the religion strictly practice the belief. This discourse genre is hegemonic- owned through imposition of the socially powerful group over the socially powerless one. Keywords: abstain from work, hegemony, discourse, genre, powe

Publisher: Journal of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:ojs.localhost:article/32265

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