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Account-giving in the narratives of abuse in isiXhosa

Mokapela, Sebolelo Agnes (2005)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores the theoretical work in articulating the motivations and conditions for account-giving in isiXhosa in relation to image restoration. This emotional and behavioural rehabilitation is done through accounts. In this context, accounts are similar to narratives and can be retained at the level of private reflections or written as diary entries or for others to read and refer to from time to time. The account-making process according to Warren (1989), is like a "life in motion" in which individual characters are portrayed as moving through their experiences, dealing with some conflict or problem in their lives and at the same time searching for a resolution. It is then this quest to understand the major stresses in each individual's mind that is at the core of this study. The why questions that are the result of the daily experiences of destitution, depression, death, disability, etc., are also addressed here. The importance of the intelligibility of accounts is established with reference to Schank and Abelson (1977) who contend that people construct accounts based on their knowledge structure approach, causal reasoning and text comprehension. Thus, for an account to be hounered, it has to be goal-oriented and coherent. In this study, the social-interactive aspects of account-giving are investigated and it is discovered that severe reproach forms involving personality attacks and derogatory aspects, elicit defensive reactions that result in negative interpersonal and emotional consequences. The mitigation-aggravation continuum is then examined with regard to the selection of the failure management strategies. Narrative accounts based on Mcintyre (1981) form the basis of moral and social events and as such, stories have two elements through which they are explored. They are explored firstly in the way in which they are told and secondly, on the way they are lived in the social context. These stories follow a historically or culturally based format and to this effect, Gergen (1994) suggested a narrative criteria that constitute a historically contingent narrative form. Narrative forms are linguistic tools that have important social functions to satisfactorily fulfil such as stability narrative, progressive narrative and regressive narrative. According to Gergen (1994), self-narratives are social processes in which individuals are realized on the personal perspective or experience, and as such their emotions are viewed as constitutive features of relationship. The self-narratives used and analysed in this study portray the contemporary culture-based elements or segments of a well-formed narrative.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die teoretiese werke en die artikulasie van die motiverings en kondisies vir verslag-making en verslagdoening in isiXhosa m.b.t. beeld-herstel ('image restoration'). Hierdie emosionele en gedragsrehabilitasie word gedoen deur verslagdoening. In hierdie konteks is verslae soortgelyk aan narratiewe en kan beskou word op die vlak van privaatrefleksies of geskryf word as dagboekinskrywings. Die verslagdoeningsproses, is, volgens Warren (1989) soos 'Iewe-in-beweging', waarin individuele karakters voorgestel word as dat hulle beweeg deur hulle ondervindings waarin hulle een of ander konflik of probleem aanspreek, en soek na 'n oplossing. Dit is hierdie soeke om die hoofspanninge in elke individu se denke te verstaan wat die kern van hierdie studie is. Die waarom-vrae wat die gevolg is van die daaglikse ondervindinge, eensaamheid, depressie en gestremdheid, word ook aangespreek in die studie oor narratiewe in isiXhosa. Die belangrikheid van die verstaanbaarheid van verslae word ook ondersoek met verwysing na Schank en Abelson (1977) se siening dat mense verslae konstrueer gebaseer op hulle kennis, struktuurbenadering, kousale beredenering en teksbegrip. Dus, vir 'n verslag om gerespekteer te word, moet dit doel-georiënteerd en koherent wees. In hierdie studie, word die sosiaal-interaktiewe aspekte van verslagdoening ondersoek, en dit word bevind dat erge verdedigingsvorme persoonlike aanvalle en verkleinerende aspekte insluit wat verdedigende reaksies uitlok wat negatiewe interpersoonlike en emosionele gevolge het. Die vermindering-vergroting kontinuum word ondersoek m.b.t. die selektering van mislukking bestuurstrategieë. Narratiewe verslae gebaseer op Mcintyre (1981) vorm die basis van morele en sosiale gebeure, en as sodanig, het stories twee elemente waardeur hulle ondersoek word, eerstens op die wyse waarop, en tweedens, op die wyse wat hulle beleef word in sosiale konteks. Stories volg In histories- en kultureelgebaseerde formaat. Gergen (1994) het narratiewe kriteria voorgestel. Narratiewe vorme is linguistiese gereedskap wat belangrike sosiale funksies het, insluitende stabiliteit narratief, progressiewe narratief en regressiewe naratief.

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