I am not Prejudiced, or am I? Semantic Strategies Used by Ghanaian University Students in the Discourse of Ethnic Prejudice

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

University of Cape Coast, Ghana

Abstract

Semantic strategies are a kind of discourse strategy that include the sum of language and cognitive moves which are used to reach an adequate goal of communication normally resulting in text comprehension by the reader or listener. Here, the language user takes a number of steps in order to perform a complex task. Semantic strategies in prejudiced talk have been examined extensively in western cultures (e.g., Augoustinos & Every, 2007; Bonnila-Silva, 2002). In order to close the gap on the vastness of western studies, the Ghanaian context is investigated in this study. Ten Ghanaian university students from differing ethnic backgrounds were sampled and interviewed to reveal their ethnic prejudices using the Discourse-Historical approach as advocated by Wodak and Reisigl (1999). The analysis of data reveals projection, semantic distancing, incoherence, and rationalization as the four semantic strategies used in the discourse of prejudice among Ghanaian university students. This study has implications for language socialization. 

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