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Title: The performative and the politics of representation
Author: Chama, Dounia
ISNI:       0000 0001 3526 1903
Awarding Body: The Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2008
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The aim of the thesis is to explore the politics of representation in African American female RnB songs using the concept of the performative and, in doing so, to demonstrate the usefulness of speech-act theory. Using a method of textual analysis based on speech-act theory, the thesis investigates the socio-linguistics of RnB record-texts. The key issue is to explore the scope and limitations of the political agency at play in black female RnB record-texts, given a racist, sexist, and class-based social context. The thesis shows how the strategies of resistance used by African American women in recorded song may be located along a continuum between two sociolinguistic poles. Marking the constraints of social structure, and thus defining the continuum, these two socio-linguistic poles expose the impossibility to perform effectively pure speech acts in an unequal society by pointing out the limits of subverted, nihilistic language, on the one hand, and of straightforward, celebratory language, on the other. Positioning the record-text in concrete social relations, the continuum brings out the social implications at stake in RnB songs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available