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Language and social structure : A case study of the tourism industry in Kenya

By Diana Crampton


In this study I investigate the question who speaks which\ud language to whom and for what purpose on the basis of a conceptualization of society which differs from previous sociolinguistic research. Whilst the language surveys of Eastern Africa have provided a range of data most specifically in the educational sector but also in the dmains factory, church, neighbourhood, I focus on work. Whilst inquiry in this sphere suffers from similar constraints to inquiry in other domains, i. e. that findings here may not be generalizable, the contextualization of the various work locales which I offer in the form of an analysis of the tourist industry suggests ways of integrating individual speech choices with wider\ud social forces in society. On the basis of criticisms of language planning literature I additionally propose consideration of the sociology of development to provide tools for the analysis of society in sociolinguistics.\ud \ud In discussing educational policies of the colonial and postcolonial governments I assess opportunities presented and which groups benefitted. I comment on the early proliferation of vernacular presses and later restriction and prohibition, suggesting that debates on language policy in Kenya have contingently been restricted to considering only English and Swahili. Debates on language in goverment demonstrate and exemplify the changing status of both\ud English and Swahili. \ud \ud I present results of interviews conducted amongst tourism\ud workers in Kenya, focusing on recruitment policies, changing\ud educational and professional standards and language problems. I finally analyse transcripts from tapes collected in a variety of tourism locales in Kenya. In applying conversational analysis, yet proceeding from an assumption of asymmetry in sociolinguistic interaction, I propose that it is possible to incorporate notions of power differentials into conversations and talk, particularly\ud where the contexts have been analysed

Publisher: School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Year: 1983
OAI identifier:

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