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Making and shaping participatory spaces: Resemiotisation and citizenship agency
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In South Africa, democratic consolidation involves not only building a new state but also new interfaces between state and society. In order to strengthen the agency of citizens at these interfaces, recent approaches to development stress the notion of ‘participatory citizenship’ which recasts citizenship as practised rather than given. The purpose of this paper is to explore the links between such practices of participatory citizenship and possibilities for literacy and language education in state adult learning centres. It draws on an impact study of a capacity building programme for educators of adults in the Northern Cape Province and uses interviews and document analysis to explore the ways in which meaning-making unfolded in new participatory spaces. It argues that such processes can be seen as  a form of ‘linguistic citizenship’ in which individuals and groups re-shaped the multilingual representational resources available to them to validate the authority of subaltern actors and mobilise collective agency. It uses the concept of resemiotisation (Iedema 1999) to investigate how the choice of different semiotic complexes enabled or constrained participation and to offer a set of principles for reconceptualising the provision of adult basic education.

 

Keyword [en]
Adult basic education, agency, citizenship, development, linguistic citizenship, literacy, multilingualism, resemiotisation, voice.
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Bilingualism Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-27042OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-27042DiVA: diva2:212491
Note
In Lisa Lim, Christopher Stroud & Lionel Wee (eds). (in prep for 2009) The Multilingual Citizen: Towards a Politics of Language for Agency and Change. (Encounters.) Manchester: St Jerome Publishing. Available from: 2009-04-22 Created: 2009-04-22 Last updated: 2010-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Changing conceptions of literacies, language and development: Implications for the provision of adult basic education in South Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changing conceptions of literacies, language and development: Implications for the provision of adult basic education in South Africa
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study aims to contribute to the growing body of knowledge on the circumstances under which adult education, in particular adult basic education, can support and occasionally initiate participatory development, social action and the realisation of citizenship rights. It traces developments in adult basic education in South Africa, and more specifically literacy and language learning, over the years 1981 to 2001, with reference to specific multilingual contexts in the Northern and Western Cape.

The thesis is based on four individual studies, documenting an arc from grassroots work to national policy development and back. Study I, written in the early 1990s, critically examines approaches to teaching English to adults in South Africa at the time and proposes a participatory curriculum model for the additional language component of a future adult education policy. Study II is an account of attempts to implement this model and explores the implications of going to scale with such an approach.  Studies III and IV draw on a qualitative study of an educator development programme after the transition to democracy. Study III uses Bourdieu's theory of practice and the concept of reflexivity to illuminate some of  the connections between local discursive practices, self-formation, and broader relations of power. Study IV uses Iedema's (1999) concept of resemiotisation to trace the ways in which individuals re-shaped available representational resources to mobilise collective agency in community-based workshops. The summary provides a framework for these studies by locating and critiquing each within shifts in the political economy of South Africa. It reflects on a history of research and practice, raising questions to do with voice, justice, power, agency, and desire. Overall, this thesis argues for a reconceptualisation of ABET that is more strongly aligned with development goals and promotes engagement with new forms of state/society/economy relations.

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Centre for Research on Bilingualism, Stockholm University, 2009. 65 p.
Series
Dissertations in Bilingualism, ISSN 1400-5921 ; 18
Keyword
adult literacy, adult basic education, agency, citizenship, critical applied linguistics, development, linguistic citizenship, multilingualism, reflexivity, resemiotisation, voice.
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Bilingualism Research
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-26581 (URN)978-91-7155-852-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-05-18, G-salen, Arrheniuslaboratorierna, Svante Arrhenius väg 16, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-04-27 Created: 2009-04-01 Last updated: 2010-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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