Politics, Ethnicity and the Postcolonial Nation
A critical analysis of political discourse in the Caribbean
This book explores the politics of ethnicity and nationalism in the Caribbean from a critical discourse-analytical perspective. Focusing on political communication in Trinidad and Tobago, it offers unique socio-political insights into one of the most complex and diverse countries of the Archipelago. Through a detailed reconstruction of Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s 2010 victorious run for office, this book offers ample empirical evidence of the multimodal discursive strategies that held the key to the success of the first woman PM candidate and her inter-ethnic coalition bid to overcome political tribalism in the country. In parallel, it explores the implications and challenges of the postcolonial Trinbagonian national project, caught between pluralism and creolization. Through its innovative, context-dependent and interdisciplinary CDS approach, this book breaks new ground in Caribbean Studies while at the same time broadening the horizons of the Euro-American tradition of Political Discourse Studies to address the complexities of global postcoloniality.
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture, 93] 2021. xvii, 207 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
List of figures
List of tables
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Ethnicity, nationalism and the political process in Trinidad and Tobago
Chapter 3. Theory and methods for a multimodal critique of political discourse
Chapter 4. The leader
Chapter 5. The party
Chapter 6. The nation
Chapter 7. Concluding remarks
“Systemic analytical detail in this book is based on a sophisticated theoretical framework consisting of an impressive number of references in discourse studies and other disciplines, to which this book makes an original contribution. More specifically, Eleonora Esposito’s book contributes first of all to the study of political discourse. Secondly, it is a unique discourse analytical contribution to Caribbean studies, until now dominated by the social sciences. Thirdly, the detailed analysis of the discourse and campaign of Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her leadership is a valuable contribution to the study of gender and politics. And finally, as emphasized by Eleonora Esposito herself, the study persuasively advocates the necessary integration of Critical Discourse Studies and Postcolonial Studies.”
Teun A. van Dijk, Centre of Discourse Studies
“Eleonora Esposito has conducted a wonderfully incisive study of the complex interplay of ‘race’, ethnicity, gender, history, culture, politics and identity in modern Trinidad. The main thrust of her argument revolves around the thorny problem of national belonging in a modern society built on the ashes of a still-smoldering British colonial empire. The racist and sexist scars of that empire that employed the old techniques of divide and rule, continue to resonate in today’s political contests as the main ethnic groups, African- and Indian-descended, have inherited the distorted institutions of the departed colonial masters. Esposito writes with the familiarity of an insider, the objectivity of an outsider, and the commitment of a true scholar. The argument she advances is theoretically innovative and happily free of jargon. This is a very useful addition to the literature on ‘democracy’ and the contestation of national, racial, and class belonging in modern Trinidad.”
Anton Allahar, University of Toronto
“Mixing postcolonial theory, history and multimodal critical discourse analysis, this book analyses election campaign speeches, videos and rallies to chronicle how Kamla Persad-Bissessar managed to unite a divided nation and become the first female prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago. It tells a compelling story and maps out a promising new sub-discipline – postcolonial critical discourse analysis.”
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BIC Subject: CFG – Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
BISAC Subject: LAN009030 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Pragmatics