interdiscursivity in South Africa

 

When an individual has access to many different discourses or cultural knowledges, change is increasingly possible, as one discourse often enables critique and subversion of others. It is in the space between discourses, that there is potential for agency (McKenzie, personal communication, 2007).

 

For example, my travel to South Africa enabled me to see more clearly the boundaries and socially situated nature of some of the academic discourses within which I was living and writing and helped me move beyond them to complete this dissertation.

 

Yet simply having access to a different discourse does not mean that one can easily take it up as one's own (Barron, D., 1995). Not only are powerful discourses difficult to 'discard,' the degree of discomfort (and risk) of taking up a discourse not dominant in one's culture, is significant.

 

How might cognitive imperialism (Battiste, 1998), "methodological atheism" (Ezzy, 2004, p. 118), criteria for research, and the offering of academic positions and tenure fit into this picture? In what ways do they make it difficult to engage an animist ontology?