n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - The price to pay for peace : corporate language and culture at a South African University : research article

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-5986



More than a decade has passed since the conclusion of the Cold War and the end of the armed struggle in South Africa. In the United States of America, with the fall of communism, the neo-liberal capitalist policies of deregulation, globalisation and the reduction/elimination of government spending for social programmes and institutions have paved the way for the rise of giant corporations which, wielding unprecedented economic power across the globe, have claimed as legitimate the link between democracy and the practice of a free market. Corporate culture, with the concomitant commodification of values, has impacted strongly on existing social structures worldwide, influencing the way in which reality is perceived. &lt;br&gt; With reduced funding for teaching and research, higher education has come increasingly under corporate control, even in South Africa. Simultaneously, since the peaceful transition to majority rule, the South African government has embarked on restructuring and transforming society in order to redress the imbalances created by the country's colonial past. The choice of an American/corporate model for South African universities is, therefore, questionable in the light of the hegemonic influence of Western capitalism. <br> In the hope of stimulating a proactive debate, which would enhance awareness of the forces at present operating in South African society, the author of this article offers a brief analysis of how the current use of language with clear referentiality to the corporate ethos is reflected in the activities of a South African university.

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