Phillipson Perspective on the Dominance of English in Europe

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Chapter Three: Theoretical Frame work


The previous chapter concentrated on the literature review. It revealed that in most African countries the use of indigenous languages in the media is very limited mainly because of the language policies that were adopted by the nations on their attainment of independence. On attainment of independence, it has been revealed; former colonial languages became the official languages. Resultantly, the media domain continued to be dominated by the English language at the expense of the local languages. In the background of this review of literature, this chapter mainly concentrates on exploring the theoretical framework that is informing this study. It attempts to unpack the tenets of the theory paying attention to the extent to which the use of indigenous languages in print media in Zimbabwe can empower the people to democratically participate in the public domain and contribute positively in forging their future. The theoretical framework that guides and gives impetus to this research is the postcolonial theory.
This theory is very relevant in this research in so far as it presupposes that the assumption of the alien (former colonial) languages, history, institutions, sensibilities and belief systems affected colonised people. It postulates that the impulsive acceptance of the colonial structures culminated in the great disempowerment of the indigenous people. It presumes this arbitrary embracing of colonial languages, and many other aspects associated with them, incapacitates the indigenous people in their attempts to construct, redirect their history and social structures towards meaningfully participating on the global market place of ideas.

Unde rstanding Postcolonialis m

To have an enhanced understanding of the postcolonial theory, one would surely need an understanding of the term postcolonialism. According toAshcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin, (1998), postcolonialism deals with the effects of colonialism on cultures and societies that have had contacts with colonialism and imperialism. The term, they argue, was originally used by historians during the post Second World War era to refer to the post-independence era. From the 1970s onwards, the term began to be used by literary crit ics in their analysis and interrogation of the various repercussions of colonialism (Ashcroft et al. 1998:186). The term became synonymous with critiquing the political, linguistic and cultural experiences of former European colonies. According to the trio, the concern in postcolonialism was the material effects of the conditions of colonialism.
As a field of inquiry postcolonialism became concerned with the study and analysis of European territorial conquest, the various colonial institutions, and the digressive operations of the Empire. It dealt with the complexities of subject creation in colonial discourse as well as the resistance of these subjects to the set up systems. Most importantly, postcolonialism deals with the different responses to colonial infiltrations and their contemporary legacies in both pre-and post- independence nations and communities (Ashcroft et al. 1998:187).
According to Ashcroft et al. (1998), postcolonialism as a term has also been used in historical, political, sociological and economic analysis where it has been utilised in processes of interrogating the impact of European imperialism the global communities. In these different fields of study, the concern of postcolonialism is scrutinising the processes and effects, the reactions to, European colonialism from the 16t h century right up to the present-day neo-colonialism (Ashcroft et al. 1998:188). According to the trio, because the former colonised people are ever documenting their colonial experiences, and also in light of the fact that these post-colonial societies have their own internal agenda and force that continue to interact with and modify their response to the colonial enterprise, the field of postcolonialism has consistently experienced changes.
Childs and Williams (1997) have also written on postcolonialism, for them the term “postcolonialism” gives an impression of an end of a historical epoch. They contend that postcolonialism induces the ideas of dissolution of empires and the total dismantling of all colonial structures of control. They argue that the ushering in of independence in virtually all former colonies was cosmetic, it was just a presentation of flag independence; a situation that witnessed the mere replacement of western flags with very little, if any, change in the socio-economic and political structures that govern the nations. This scenario is exactly what Slemon (1995) as cited in Rukundwa and van Aarde (2007) referred to when talking of …the exchange for flag independence that brought no economic independence, nor reparation for the past experiences of imperialism, since colonialism as a practice still remained active in a new form – neo- imperialism (Slemon 1995, cited in Rukundwa and van Aarde, 2007:1173).
Childs and Williams (1997) conclude that the term colonialism has to cover all forms of oppression. In the same vein, they argue that, “post-colonialism should then be viewed as a trans-historical concept, always present and always in the process of disso lution in one part of the world or the other” (Childs and Williams, 1997:2).
The above argument by Childs and William‟s (1997) argument is similar to what Ashcroft et al. (1989:2) implied when they argued that:
We use the term “post-colonial” … to cover all the cultures affected by the imperial process from the moment of colonisation to the present day. This is because there is a continuity of pre-occupations throughout the historical process initiated by European imperialism.
In the context of this study postcolonial theory will help unpack the extent to which the colonial media systems and structures have remained intact and functional, in spite of the attainment of independence as well as ratification of international conventions that promote and protect people‟s linguistic rights and democratic right to information. In analysing the two newspapers, the theory will help in finding out the amount of linguistic and cultural damage that was caused by colonialism. Furthermore, it will help determine whether after the attainment of independence there was continuity or change with regard to accessibility and helpfulness of the disseminated news and information.
Slemon as cited in Childs and Williams (1997) further adds that the concept postcolonial is more useful not when it is used synonymously with the post-independence historical period in former colonised nations, but rather when it locates a specific anti or post-colonial influence in culture. For him, this influence on culture has to be one which begins at the point of contact with the dominant colonial power. This contact, it has been observed, witnessed the dominant colonial power engraving itself onto the body or space of its “Others” and continuously modifying its presence in the form of neo-colonialist international relations (Slemon as cited in Childs and Williams, 1997).

Postcolonial Theory

According to Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (1989), post-colonial theory is grounded in colonial histories, institutional practices and the responses to these practices by the colonised people. They argue that the theory is hinged on the scrutiny of the impact of colonialism on both the colonisers and the colonised.
Rukundwa and van Aarde (2007) suggest that postcolonial theory developed its appraisal of historical situations around societal histories, cultural differences and political discrimination that are practiced and normalised by colonial and imperial machinery (Rukundwa and van Aarde, 2007:1173). To further substantiate their point, they make reference to Young (2001) who also reiterated that postcolonial theory is concerned with colonialism “only to the extent to which that history has determined the configurations and power structures of the present” (Young, 2001: 69).

Chapter One: Introduction 
1.0 Background to the Study
1.1 Statement of the problem
1.2 Aim of the study
1.3 Justification
1.4 Brief Review of Related Literature
1.5 Research Methodology
1.6 Scope of the Study
1.7 Definition of Terms
1.8 Conclusion
Chapter 2: Extended Literature Review 
2.0 Introduction
2.1 Language
2.3 Antonio Gramsci‟s Theory of Hegemony and the Language policies in Colonial and Post-Colonial States
2.2 Phillipson Perspective on the Dominance of English in Europe
2.5 The Linguistic Scenario in the United Kingdom
2.6 The Hegemony of English in Asia
2.8 Indigenous Languages in Media in East Africa
2.9 Indigenous Languages in Media in West Africa
2.10 The Language Situation in South Africa
2.11 Conclusion
Chapter Three: Theoretical Framework 
3.0 Introduction
3.1 Understanding Post colonialism
3.2 Postcolonial Theory
3.3 Postcolonial Theory and the Language Question
3.4 The Historical Development of Postcolonial Theory in Latin America
3.5 Postcolonial Theory as a Tricontinental Theoretical Approach
3.6 Proponents of Post-Colonial Theory
3.7 Spivak and the Concept of the Subaltern
3.8 Homi Bhabha and Postcolonial Thought
3.9 Frantz Fanon and the Postcolonial Theory
3.10 Amilcar Cabral and the Postcolonial Thought
3.11 Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin Postcolonial Theory
3.12 Conclusion
Chapter Four: Methodology
4.0 Introduction
4.1 Research Methodology
4.2 The Research Paradigm
4.3 The Research Methods
4.4 Ethical Considerations of the Study
4.5 Conclusion
Chapter Five: Research Findings, Analysis and Discussion 
5.0 Introduction
5.1 The History of the Press in Zimbabwe
5.2 Presentation and Analysis of Data from Interviews
5.3 Presentation and Analysis of Data Collected from Experts in Language Issues, Language Policy Planning and Media Discipline
5.5 Content Analysis Discussion of Kwayedza and uMthunywa Story Coverage
5.6 Cultural Issues in Kwayedza and uMthunywa
5.7 The Presentation of the African Religion and Spirituality in Kwayedza and uMthunywa249
5.8. Gender Violence
5.9 The Manipulation of the Christian Gospel
5.10 Analysis of the Cartoons in Kwayedza
5.11 Conclusion
Chapter Six: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Summary and Conclusion
6.3 Recommendations

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