n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Vinkel en koljander? 'n Diversiteitsperspektief op Afrikaanse en Nederlandse moedertaal-taalhandboeke




Where human society is involved, the world can never be objective, but is a place where, through cultural power relations, human inequalities are legitimized by meaning, interpretation and value (Hall 1997). At the same time prejudice and stereotyping disguise inequality and enhance the exclusion of certain sectors of society. Mechanisms such as inclusions, exclusions, confusing representations, cultural codes, and silences are relevant stereotyping strategies. In this article the visual representations in Dutch and Afrikaans language textbooks are compared in order to determine the strategies used to address diversity within the textbooks. The conceptual framework and literature review comprise an explication of the concepts and influential issues presented in the literature. Data sources are constituted by the visual material of one textbook series from each of the two language communities. The findings are presented as indicators derived from focus group discussions. Eurocentric perspectives of the dominant white group about the 'other' were identified, projecting the 'other' as problematic, poor and primitive. The cultural codes in the visual material furthermore generalise the non-Western 'other' as either extremely religious or as fundamentally different. No signs of apartheid prejudice could be found in the Afrikaans textbooks and Afrikaans is demythologised as a 'white' language. The visual material offers a platform for different, even contradictory, values in order to create a new cultural and social reality, even if the representation, in which everybody speaks Afrikaans, is sometimes forced and unauthentic.


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