Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Power Relations Related Abstracts

4 Male Sex Workers’ Constructions of Selling Sex in South Africa

Authors: Tara Panday, Despina Learmonth

Abstract:

Sex work is often constructed as being an interaction between male clients and female sex workers. As a result, street-based male sex workers are continuously overlooked in the South African literature. This qualitative study explored male sex workers’ subjective experiences and constructions of their male clients’ identities and the client-sex worker relationship. This research was conducted from a social-constructionist perspective, which allowed for a deeper understanding of the reasons and context driving the choices and actions of male sex workers. Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 10 South African men working as sex workers in Cape Town. Data was analysed through thematic analysis. The findings of the study construct the client-sex worker relationship in terms of a professional relationship, constrained choice, sexual identity and need, as well as companionship for pay, potentially highlighting underlying reasons for supply and demand. The data which emerged around the client-sex worker relationship and the clients’ identities also served to illuminate the power-dynamics in the client-sex worker relationship. This data increases insight into the exploitation and disempowerment experienced by male sex workers through verbal abuse, physical and sexual violence, and unfairly enforced laws and regulations. The findings of this study suggest that, in the context of South Africa, male sex workers' experiences of the client-sex worker relationship cannot be completely understood without considering the intersectionality of the triple stigmatisation of: the criminality of sex work, race, and the lack of economic power, which systematically maintains marginalization. Motivating for the Law Reform Commission to continue to review all emerging research may assist with guiding related policy and thereby, the provision of equal human rights and adequate health and social interventions for all sex workers in South Africa.

Keywords: Human Rights, prostitution, Sex Work, Power Relations

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3 A Caged Bird Set Free: The Women Saviors in Fae Myenne Ng's Steer Toward Rock

Authors: Hei Yuen Pak

Abstract:

Steer Toward Rock, Fae Myenne Ng’s second novel after the National Bestseller Bone, is superficially concluded as a story of pessimism, which underestimates the sophistication of Ng’s portrayal. It is often summarized as a “heartbreaking novel of unrequited love” or “a story of timeless and tragic”; yet, Ng’s novel conveys more than a mere sense of tragedy and heartbreak, but rather an overflowing warmth and optimism. Ng is complimented of “illuminating a part of U.S. history few are aware of”—the false identity established on the paper relationships. Nevertheless, toward the end of the novel, this falsity enlightens the male protagonist, Jack Moon Szeto, of the ultimate realization of the “truthfulness” to himself, with the escort of the female characters. This paper intends to investigate how Ng’s depiction subverts the traditional sex/gender system and also the patriarchal savior stereotype. This paper mainly examines the characterization of and the relations among the four major characters: Jack Moon Szeto, Joice Qwan, Veda Qwan, and Ilin Cheung. By deploying Kate Millett’s, Marilyn French’s, Mary Daly’s feminist theories, the first half of the essay elucidates the power relations between Jack and the three females Joice, Veda, and Ilin in terms of gender and sexuality. After analyzing the relations, Jack, this male caged bird, is set free by the epiphany derived from the three female characters, which is the pivot of the second half. In reference to Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir’s existentialist perspectives, I argue how Jack is transformed from, in Satre’s term, being-for-others to being-for-itself. Hence, the caged bird is free by the women saviors.

Keywords: Feminism, Gender and sexuality, Power Relations, Fae Myenne Ng

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2 Language and Power Relations in Selected Political Crisis Speeches in Nigeria: A Critical Discourse Analysis

Authors: Isaiah Ifeanyichukwu Agbo

Abstract:

Human speech is capable of serving many purposes. Power and control are not always exercised overtly by linguistic acts, but maybe enacted and exercised in the myriad of taken-for-granted actions of everyday life. Domination, power control, discrimination and mind control exist in human speech and may lead to asymmetrical power relations. In discourse, there are persuasive and manipulative linguistic acts that serve to establish solidarity and identification with the 'we group' and polarize with the 'they group'. Political discourse is crafted to defend and promote the problematic narrative of outright controversial events in a nation’s history thereby sustaining domination, marginalization, manipulation, inequalities and injustices, often without the dominated and marginalized group being aware of them. They are designed and positioned to serve the political and social needs of the producers. Political crisis speeches in Nigeria, just like in other countries concentrate on positive self-image, de-legitimization of political opponents, reframing accusation to one’s advantage, redefining problematic terms and adopting reversal strategy. In most cases, the people are ignorant of the hidden ideological positions encoded in the text. Few researches have been conducted adopting the frameworks of critical discourse analysis and systemic functional linguistics to investigate this situation in the political crisis speeches in Nigeria. In this paper, we focus attention on the analyses of the linguistic, semantic, and ideological elements in selected political crisis speeches in Nigeria to investigate if they create and sustain unequal power relations and manipulative tendencies from the perspectives of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). Critical Discourse Analysis unpacks both opaque and transparent structural relationships of power dominance, power relations and control as manifested in language. Critical discourse analysis emerged from a critical theory of language study which sees the use of language as a form of social practice where social relations are reproduced or contested and different interests are served. Systemic function linguistics relates the structure of texts to their function. Fairclough’s model of CDA and Halliday’s systemic functional approach to language study are adopted in this paper. This paper probes into language use that perpetuates inequalities. This study demystifies the hidden implicature of the selected political crisis speeches and reveals the existence of information that is not made explicit in what the political actors actually say. The analysis further reveals the ideological configurations present in the texts. These ideological standpoints are the basis for naturalizing implicit ideologies and hegemonic influence in the texts. The analyses of the texts further uncovered the linguistic and discursive strategies deployed by text producers to manipulate the unsuspecting members of the public both mentally and conceptually in order to enact, sustain and maintain unhealthy power relations at crisis times in the Nigerian political history.

Keywords: Language, Power Relations, Critical Discourse Analysis, political crisis, Systemic Functional Linguistics

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1 Combining Corpus Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis to Study Power Relations in Hindi Newspapers

Authors: Niladri Sekhar Dash, Vandana Mishra, Jayshree Charkraborty

Abstract:

This present paper focuses on the application of corpus linguistics techniques for critical discourse analysis (CDA) of Hindi newspapers. While Corpus linguistics is the study of language as expressed in corpora (samples) of 'real world' text, CDA is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of discourse that views language as a form of social practice. CDA has mainly been studied from a qualitative perspective. However, we can say that recent studies have begun combining corpus linguistics with CDA in analyzing large volumes of text for the study of existing power relations in society. The corpus under our study is also of a sizable amount (1 million words of Hindi newspaper texts) and its analysis requires an alternative analytical procedure. So, we have combined both the quantitative approach i.e. the use of corpus techniques with CDA’s traditional qualitative analysis. In this context, we have focused on the Keyword Analysis Sorting Concordance Lines of the selected Keywords and calculating collocates of the keywords. We have made use of the Wordsmith Tool for all these analysis. The analysis starts with identifying the keywords in the political news corpus when compared with the main news corpus. The keywords are extracted from the corpus based on their keyness calculated through statistical tests like chi-squared test and log-likelihood test on the frequent words of the corpus. Some of the top occurring keywords are मोदी (Modi), भाजपा (BJP), कांग्रेस (Congress), सरकार (Government) and पार्टी (Political party). This is followed by the concordance analysis of these keywords which generates thousands of lines but we have to select few lines and examine them based on our objective. We have also calculated the collocates of the keywords based on their Mutual Information (MI) score. Both concordance and collocation help to identify lexical patterns in the political texts. Finally, all these quantitative results derived from the corpus techniques will be subjectively interpreted in accordance to the CDA’s theory to examine the ways in which political news discourse produces social and political inequality, power abuse or domination.

Keywords: Corpus Linguistics, Power Relations, Critical Discourse Analysis, Hindi newspapers

Procedia PDF Downloads 51