1st Edition

Subjectivity, Language and the Postcolonial Beyond Bourdieu in South Africa

By Hannah Botsis Copyright 2018
    134 Pages
    by Routledge

    134 Pages
    by Routledge

    In Subjectivity, Language and the Postcolonial, Hannah Botsis draws on theoretical work that exists at the intersection of critical social psychology, sociolinguistics and the political economy of language, to examine the relationships between language, subjectivity, materiality and political context.

    The book foregrounds the ways in which the work of Bourdieu could be read in conjunction with ‘poststructural’ theorists such as Butler and Derrida to offer a critical understanding of subjectivity, language and power in postcolonial contexts. This critical engagement with theorists traditionally from outside of psychology allows for a situated approach to understanding the embodied and symbolic possibilities and constraints for the postcolonial subject. This exploration opens up how micro-politics of power are refracted through ideological categories such as language, race and class in post-apartheid South Africa.

    Also drawing on the empirical findings of original research undertaken in the South African context on students’ linguistic biographies, the book offers a unique perspective – critical social theory is brought to bear on the empirical linguistic biographies of postcolonial subjects, offering insight into how power is negotiated in the postcolonial symbolic economy.

    Ideal for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students on courses including social psychology, sociolinguistics, sociology, politics, and education, this is an invaluable resource for students and researchers alike.

    Introduction Chapter 1. Subjectivity, Language and Identity Chapter 2. The Symbolic economy Chapter 3. The paradox of subjection Chapter 4. The postcolonial symbolic economy Chapter 5. Subject positioning in the South African Symbolic Economy Conclusion


    Hannah Botsis completed her PhD in Psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand and is currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre for Research on Bilingualism at Stockholm University. Her research interests include postcolonial language biographies and theories of subjectivity and power.