Reconciliation Discourse: The case of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

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John Benjamins Publishing, Feb 6, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 238 pages
This volume is a research monograph analysing the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) from an ethnographic/linguistic point of view. The central proposition of this book is that the TRC can be regarded as a mechanism that leads to the hegemony of specific discourses, thus excercising power. The analysis illustrates how, through a certain type of reconciliation discourse constructed at the TRC hearings, a reconciliation-oriented reality took shape in post-TRC South Africa. Basically, the study points to the long-term implications a truth commission can exert on a traumatised post-conflict society. The book is unique on several levels: TRC discourse is explored in-depth on the basis of personal stories from TRC testifiers; a combination of Poststructuralist and Critical Discourse Analysis approaches form the theoretical foundations; and an extensive bibliography provides an impressive database of TRC publications.

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission
7
3 The TRC archive
31
4 The sample
43
5 Layering and HRV discour
53
6 Reconciliation discourse truth and society
141
62 A multilayered reconciliation discourse in South African reality
155
7 Exercising power through discourse
167
8 Towards a conclusion
185
References
193
Index
229
The series Discourse Approaches to Politics Society and Culture
239
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