The case of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
This volume is a research monograph analysing the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) from an ethnographic/linguistic point of view. The central proposition of this book is that the TRC can be regarded as a mechanism that leads to the hegemony of specific discourses, thus excercising power. The analysis illustrates how, through a certain type of reconciliation discourse constructed at the TRC hearings, a reconciliation-oriented reality took shape in post-TRC South Africa. Basically, the study points to the long-term implications a truth commission can exert on a traumatised post-conflict society. The book is unique on several levels: TRC discourse is explored in-depth on the basis of personal stories from TRC testifiers; a combination of Poststructuralist and Critical Discourse Analysis approaches form the theoretical foundations; and an extensive bibliography provides an impressive database of TRC publications.
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture, 27] 2008. xiii, 238 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
Preface | pp. xi–xii
Acronyms | p. xiii
1. Introduction | pp. 1–6
2. The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission | pp. 7–30
3. The TRC Archive | pp. 31–42
4. The sample | pp. 43–52
5. Layering and HRV discourse: A critical perspective | pp. 53–140
6. Reconciliation discourse, truth and society | pp. 141–166
7. Exercising power through discourse | pp. 167–183
8. Towards a conclusion | pp. 185–192
Index | pp. 229–238
“ Reconciliation Discourse is unique on several levels: TRC discourse is explored in depth on the basis of personal stories from TRC testifiers, a combination of Poststructuralist and Critical Discourse Analysis approaches form the theoretical foundations, and an extensive bibliography provides an impressive database of TRC publications.”
On SirReadaLot.org, April 2008 issue
“Annelies Verdoolaege's book-length critical discourse analysis of the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Human Rights Violations (HRV) hearings is a welcome contribution to the extensive bibliography on the truth commission and reconciliation; it provides important new perspectives on the hearings and enriches our understandings of the relationship between discourse and reconciliation.”
Susan Lawrence, George Mason University, USA, in Language in Society, Vol. 38, issue 2 (2009).
“I endorse the view that Verdoolaege’s study unpacked aspects of the TRC that scholars and researchers neglected to evaluate. As a consequence of Verdoolaege’s invaluable research outcomes, our understanding and perspective of the TRC process has been deepened and enhanced. Verdoolaege’s book is an important critical text for everyone in the social sciences and humanities, particularly for those in the specific field of language and linguistic studies.”
Muhammed Haron, University of Botswana, in Peace Review 24, pages 122-125.
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 20 april 2022. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFG – Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
BISAC Subject: LAN015000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Rhetoric