Participation and decision making in Luganda : an appraisal and genre-theoretic investigation of spoken discourse at community development project meetings

Kabugo, Merit Ronald (2013-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: If they don’t come out clearly to show us the true picture of different areas, it means that some areas that do not get the weather forecast cannot profit from their farming activities. This pushes our country into more poverty. If an agency can be identified and charged with the responsibility to disseminate the forecast to the various parts of the country, it would greatly help the farmers and Uganda as a country to develop. These are the words of a participant at one of fifteen Ugandan farmer group meetings that were convened and asked to discuss a tape-recorded seasonal weather forecast, following their own rules of procedure. The audio recordings and transcriptions of these meetings, which are in Luganda, form the object of inquiry for this study. Using a multi-perspective approach to spoken discourse analysis, this study investigates manifestations and patterns of participation and decision-making as they emerge through evaluation and appraisal in the context of participatory community development processes. Taking the discourse of farmer group meetings as a genre of business meetings, where the public is included in decision-making interactions between government and citizens, the study invokes the appraisal theory, genre analysis theory, citizenship talk analysis model, and the business-meeting negotiation approach to explore how participants use Luganda to express assessment and make decisions during interactive discourse. The study identifies three main styles of making decisions, which demonstrate a culturally constructed concept of participation in Luganda. Whereas subtle decision-making involves spontaneous group positions that are not formally announced as a decision, explicit decision-making manifests positions that are overtly announced by a participant. Virtual decision-making involves intermittent moves towards a group position. While some meetings have moderators, several others have the role of moderator performed by various participants. Indeed, in several cases participants take turns to speak in a spontaneous way, without having to seek the permission of the moderator. Despite the difference in styles of decision-making, the overarching goal of participation in this genre of Luganda discourse is to reach consensus and to demonstrate a collective identity. This goal however does not take away the right and freedom of participants to reason critically, negotiate for a position, express conflict, and to question authority. This study breaks the ground for further research into areas of evaluation, intercultural communication, forensic linguistics, professional discourse, and other fields of applied linguistics in Ugandan languages, as well as in other African languages.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: As hulle nie duidelik na vore kom om aan ons die ware prentjie van verskillende gebiede te toon nie, beteken dit dat sommige gebiede wat nie die weervoorspelling kry nie, nie wins uit hulle landbou-aktiwiteite kan maak nie. Dit dompel ons land al meer in armoede. As ʼn agentskap geïdentifiseer kan word en met die verantwoordelikheid getaak kan word om die voorspelling na die verskillende dele van die land te versprei, sal dit die boere baie help en Uganda as ʼn land help ontwikkel. Dit is die woorde van ʼn deelnemer by een van vyftien vergaderings vir Ugandese boere wat byeengeroep is en gevra is om ʼn bandopname van seisoenale weervoorspelling te bespreek deur hulle eie reëls van prosedure te volg. Die bandopnames en transkripsies van hierdie vergaderings in Luganda was die navorsingsonderwerp vir hierdie studie. Met behulp van ʼn multiperspektiefbenadering tot gesproke diskoersanalise het hierdie studie manifestasies en patrone van deelname en besluitneming ondersoek soos dit deur evaluering en waardebepaling teen die agtergrond van deelnemende gemeenskapsontwikkelingsprosesse na vore gekom het. Met die diskoers van vergaderings deur boeregroepe as ʼn genre van sakevergaderings, waar die publiek by besluitnemingsinteraksies tussen regering en burgers ingesluit is, het hierdie studie sig op die teorie van waardebepaling, die teorie van genre-analise, die model vir die analise van burgerskapgesprekke, en die benadering tot sakevergadering-onderhandeling beroep om te verken hoe deelnemers Luganda gebruik om assessering uit te druk en gedurende interaktiewe diskoers besluite te neem. Die studie het drie belangrike besluitnemingstyle geïdentifiseer wat ʼn kultureel gekonstrueerde begrip van deelname in Luganda demonstreer. Terwyl subtiele besluitneming spontane groepsposisies behels wat nie formeel as ʼn besluit bekend gemaak word nie, gee eksplisiete besluitneming blyke van posisies wat op overte wyse deur ʼn deelnemer aangekondig word. Virtuele besluitneming behels intermitterende beweging in die rigting van ʼn groepsposisie. Terwyl sommige vergaderings moderators het, voer verskeie ander die rol van moderator deur verskillende deelnemers uit. Om die waarheid te sê, in etlike gevalle neem deelnemers beurte om op ʼn spontane wyse te praat, sonder om die toestemming van die moderator te verkry. Ondanks die verskil in besluitnemingstyle is die oorkoepelende doel van deelname in hierdie genre van Luganda-diskoers om konsensus te bereik en ʼn kollektiewe identiteit te toon. Hierdie doel neem egter nie die reg en vryheid van deelnemers om krities te redeneer, vir ʼn posisie te onderhandel, konflik uit te spreek, en gesag te bevraagteken weg nie. Hierdie studie baan die weg vir verdere navorsing ten opsigte van gebiede van evaluering, interkulturele kommunikasie, forensiese linguistiek, professionele diskoers, en ander gebiede van toegepaste linguistiek in Ugandese tale, asook in ander Afrikatale.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/79924
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