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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Textual construction of domestic violence: examples from Kiswahili novels
Author:Mosha, Ernesta S.
Periodical:Kiswahili (ISSN 0856-048X)
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:domestic violence
gender relations
Swahili language
Abstract:In this paper, the author discusses violence against women in Kiswahili novels from Tanzania, using Foucouldian discourse analysis. In the novels excessive use of alcohol, poverty, men's jealousy, men's power and social norms are emphasized as factors that promote violence against women. Some writers do this in a way that seems to exonerate perpetrators from their abusive actions towards women and minimise the role of men's power and control in violence against women. Furthermore, some uncritically depict traditional feminine roles, emphasizing women's responsibility to respect, obey and serve men, and affirming men's rights in ways that position the victims of violence as blameworthy and responsible for their victimization. Such uncritical representations of social norms have the potential to promote and cement the attitude and/or belief that violence against women is a 'normal' part of women's lives in Tanzanian society, and an inevitable result of their inferior status. A few authors do critique the social system and cultural norms which oppress women by using different discourses when describing violence against women. These voices, however, are often silenced or marginalised within the narrative. While it is not clear what message this silencing is intended to convey, the ultimately unfavourable narrative outcome may encourage the view that it is not possible to challenge the 'fabric' of society. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]