Identity and Representation through Language in Ghana: The Postcolonial Self and the Other

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

University of Cape Coast, Ghana

Abstract

Research related to colonialism and post colonialism shows how the identities of indigenous people were constructed and how these identities are reconstructed in our contemporary world. The thrust of this paper is that colonialism brought a shift in the linguistic structure of Ghana with the introduction of the use of English among Ghanaians. The coexistence of both Ghanaian languages and English after colonialism has introduced a hybrid linguistic situation that is engineered by the presence or absence of literacy among the people of Ghana. The paper asserts that language and formal literacy, which have been closely linked to the English language, have informed the construction and reconstruction of identities of elitism and subjectivities and subsequently led to the representation of such identities in different pragmatic contexts. The paper advocates a reconsideration of language policies in mainly post-colonial contexts to bring indigenous language to coexist equally with former colonial languages in education and other related contexts.

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