A decade of changes : Eastern Cape white commercial farmers' discourses of democracy

by Böhmke, Werner

Abstract (Summary)
This paper deals with an analysis of the discursive accounts of Eastern Cape white commercial farmers on the subject of Democracy. Drawing on the theoretical perspectives of Social Constructionism and Discourse Analysis – which view individuals’ accounts of their realities as produced and informed by their particular social and historical context – the paper seeks to provide an analysis of the content of, and rhetorical strategies within the participants’ accounts and explanations. Such accounts of the social, historical and political circumstances in which Eastern Cape commercial farmers find themselves are thought to provide valuable insights into the manner in which the process of democratisation has been received by members of the agricultural sector. Data collection was conducted via brief, audio taped, semi-structured interviews. The participants were all white men and women, living in a commercial farming region of the Eastern Cape Province. Responses to the interviews were subjected to the Discourse Analytical procedure advanced by Ian Parker. Analyses reveal that participants are critical of the notion of democracy; utilize specific rhetorical and argumentation strategies; make use of notions and techniques of ‘Othering’; and subscribe to a colonial / patriarchal ideology which attempts to idealize pre-democratic South Africa. These findings illustrate what is in many ways still an ongoing political and ideological struggle in the rural regions of the country.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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