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Language and Power

The Implications of Language for Peace and Development

edited by Birgit Brock-Utne, Gunnar Garbo

Language is a tool used to express thoughts, to hide thoughts or to hide lack of thoughts. It is often a means of domination. The question is who has the power to define the world around us. This book demonstrates how language is being manipulated to form the minds of listeners or readers. Innocent words may be used to conceal a reality which people would have reacted to had the phenomena been described in a straightforward manner. The nice and innocent concept "cost sharing", which leads our thoughts to communal sharing and solidarity, may actually imply privatization. The false belief that the best way to learn a foreign language is to have it as a language of instruction actually becomes a strategy for stupidification of African pupils. In this book 33 independent experts from 16 countries in the North and the South show how language may be used to legitimize war-making, promote Northern interests in the field of development and retain colonial speech as languages of instruction, languages of the courts and in politics.

ISBN 9789987080328 | 246 pages | 229 x 152 mm | 2009 | Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania | Paperback




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