What Kaaps brings to the table : a sociolinguistic analysis of the intersection between language, food and identity in Vannie Kaap memes

Roman, Samantha (2019-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis examines food and language as a related topic. Gerhardt (2013) claims that every language group has its unique traditional food and, as such, this thesis investigates this claim with specific reference to non-standard linguistic varieties. I analysed memes1 from the Vannie Kaap Facebook page with the purpose of identifying the kinds of identities constructed when using Kaaps to talk about food. The theories of Pennycook (2004) and Butler (1990), which guided my thesis, were used to examine the ways in which language is used to perform different identities. Following this is a discussion on the methodology and data collection instruments. I used thematic analysis to analyse the different text in the memes. This thesis also drew on sociolinguistic theory which is particularly useful when analysing society’s effect on language, including concepts such as ‘context’, ‘cultural norms’ and ‘expectation’ on the way language is used. The theme that became apparent included how food and the consumption thereof was used to highlight issues of social positions within society. Other themes included the significance of food within Kaaps culture, and comparing foods as a strategy to address challenging issues in society. Also relevant to the discussion is the theme of Kaaps as a culture of consumption. My findings suggest that non-standard varieties indeed exhibit their own unique traditional foodways. I further note a generational shift, that is, a shift away from traditional, home-cooked meals to the purchasing of traditional fast foods. My findings highlight the significance and creativity that Kaaps speakers possess by using their language to make political and social commentary through comparing political and social issues to food. These kinds of strategies of resistance against societal norms are what lead to emancipation from stigmas, thus providing speakers with a sense of solidarity and belonging. Taken together, the memes depict how Kaaps speakers use food and language as a means of liberation, emancipation and empowerment.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek kos en taal as verwante onderwerpe. Aangesien Gerhardt (2013) voorstel dat elke taalgroep ook hul eie unieke tradisionele kos het, word hierdie voorstel ondersoek met spesifieke verwysing na nie-standaard taalvariëteite. Ek het spesifiek die memes wat voorgekom het op die Vannie Kaap Facebook blad geanaliseer met die doel om te ondersoek hoe Kaaps gebruik word om identiteit te konstrueer, wanneer daar oor kos gepraat word. Die teorieë van Pennycook (2004) en Butler (1990), wat my tesis gelei het, was gebruik om te ondersoek hoe taal gebruik word om identiteit te “perform”. Na my teoretiese bespreking volg die hoofstuk oor metodologie en data insamelings metodes. Ek het tematiese analise gebruik om die memes te analiseer. Ek het ook gebruik gemaak van sosiolinguistiese teorie om my temas te interpreteer. Die temas wat ek geïdentifiseer het lê veral klem op die gebruikspatrone rondom kos en hoe kos gebruik word om mense te posisioneer. Ander temas het daarop gedui dat kos ʼn belangrike deel van identiteit konstruksie is vir die wat Kaaps praat, en dat kos dikwels gebruik word om sosiale en politieke kwessies aan te spreek. Ook belangrik is die klem op ʼn verbruikerskultuur. My bevindinge dui daarop dat nie-standaard variëteite definitief gepaard gaan saam met unieke eetkultuur. Verder blyk daar ook ʼn skuif te wees tussen generasies, waar die jonger generasie beweeg van huiskos na wegneemetes. My bevindinge dui ook op die belangrikheid wat Kaaps sprekers heg aan kos en Kaaps en die verwysing na kos om politieke en sosiale kommentaar te maak. Hierdie strategieë van weerstand teen sosiale norme is wat lei tot bevryding van stigmas en wat sprekers laat met ʼn gevoel van samehorigheid en solidariteit. Alles in ag genome dui die memes daarop dat Kaaps sprekers taal en kos gebruik om hulself te bevry en bemagtig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/105832
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