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ERIC Number: EJ914727
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-1466-4208
Discourses from without, Discourses from Within: Women, Feminism and Voice in Africa
Heugh, Kathleen
Current Issues in Language Planning, v12 n1 p89-104 Feb 2011
Discourses of development, education, gender, feminism and critical linguistics arrive in Africa from usually well-meaning but often opportunistic agents from other contemporary socio-political and economic contexts. Each of these forms a new layer that veils the earlier discourses and practices. Simultaneously, people in Africa are (re-)positioned as inarticulate; without literacy, literary traditions or education; living in poverty; and thus dependent upon the more "developed world." Women are further positioned as subject to unmediated cultural or religious practices of the African man. Since women clearly lack voice and agency, they need "to be spoken for" or require the intellectual assistance of development agencies, followed soon after by feminist scripts of the centre. These are most often in the international languages of wider communication, which for most women in Africa are at once alluring but impenetrable or undelivering of promised socio-economic or political capital. In this article, counter-hegemonic voice, agency and assertion of linguistic and other forms of citizenship demonstrate that the discourses from without lack the temporal and spatial subtlety required to gauge the business of women in Africa. Often unwittingly, they contrive instead to re-marginalise women. (Contains 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; Niger