"BEEWARE of the wasp " : The role of language in studying and managing the European Paper Wasp.

Simakani, Sinikiwe (2017-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Over the past decade or two, scientists have recognised the importance of the role the general public may play in scientific research to address scientific challenges. This thesis deals with communication concerning the European paper wasp, Polistes Dominula, as facilitated by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), to a predominately Xhosa-speaking public. In addition, the thesis focuses on invasive alien species (IAS) management and the positive impact that public engagement may have on the process of this management, as SANBI has a desire to eradicate the European paper wasp, Polistes Dominula, and public participation is considered imperative to achieve this goal. The incorporation of the public into the realm of science requires a mode of communication of that science to various publics. Prior to effective communication, however, the communicating institution needs to understand each public’s level of understanding, knowledge of and perceptions of the European paper wasp. This information is necessary to develop appropriate communication tools for each public. The main data method used in this research was personal, one-on-one interviews, guided by a structured interview schedule. The interviews were conducted with members of the Coasta Land community, in Kayamandi .The respondents were heads of households, or a suitable replacement above the age of 18. The study reveals that language is a barrier in researching, and therefore understanding, a public’s perceptions, understanding and knowledge of the European paper wasp. In particular, many English scientific terms are not found in the South African indigenous languages. This poses not only an obstacle to research, but renders likely a communication breakdown between science communicators and the public. This thesis recommends that, in order to achieve successful IAS management, creative methods of communication have to be developed in order to reach Xhosa-speaking communities such as the one studied. Furthermore, along with linguistics and scientists, a process of science-terminology development needs to be embarked upon to overcome the language barrier in science communication.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Oor die afgelope dekade of twee, het wetenskaplikes die belangrike rol wat die algemene publiek in wetenskaplike navorsing kan speel om wetenskaplike uitdagings aan te spreek, erken. Hierdie tesis handel oor die kommunikasie met betrekking tot die Europese papierwespe, Polistes Dominula, soos gefasiliteer deur die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Biodiversiteitsinstituut (SANBI), aan ‘n oorwegend Xhosa-sprekende publiek. Daarbenewens, fokus die tesis op indringerspesie-bestuur en die positiewe impak wat openbare deelname kan hê op die proses van hierdie bestuur aangesien SANBI ‘n begeerte het om die Europese papierwespe, Polistes Dominula, uit te roei, waarvan openbare deelname noodsaaklilk is om hierdie doel te bereik. Die insluiting van die publiek in die wetenskaplike terrein vereis ‘n vorm van kommunikasie van daardie wetenskap aan verskeie publieke. Voor effektiewe kommunikasie kan geskied, moet die instelling wat kommunikeer egter elke publiek se vlak van begrip, kennis van, en persepsies van die Europese papierwespe, verstaan. Hierdie inligting is nodig om toepaslike kommunikasie-instrumente vir elke publiek te ontwikkel. Die hoof data-insamelingsmetode wat in hierdie navorsingsprojek gebruik is, was persoonlike, een-tot-een onderhoude, wat gelei is deur ‘n gestruktureerde onderhoudskedule. Onderhoude is gevoer met lede van die Coasta Land gemeenskap in Kyamandi. Respondente was howe van huishoudings, óf ‘n geskikte plaasvervanger bo die ouderdom van 18. Die studie toon dat taal ‘n hindernis is in die navorsing, en dus begrip van die publiek se persepsies, begrip en kennis van die Europese papierwespe. Baie Engelse wetenskaplike termes word veral nie in Suid-Afrikaanse inheemse tale gevind nie. Dit dien nie slegs as ‘n struikelblok tot navorsing nie, maar dra ook waarskynlik by tot ‘n kommunikasie ineenstorting tussen wetenskap-kommunikeerders en die publiek. Hierdie tesis beveel aan dat, ten einde suksesvolle indringerspesie-bestuur te bereik, moet kreatiewe metodes van kommunikasie ontwikkel word om Xhosa-sprekende gemeenskappe, soos die een wat bestudeer is, te bereik. Boonop, moet ‘n proses van wetenskap-terminologie-ontwikkeling aangepak word saam met taalkunde en wetenskaplikes om die taalgrens in wetenskap kommunikasie te oorskry.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/101129
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