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Speaking of Identity: Students’ Experiences of Language Use and Identity Issues inthe Educational System of Postcolonial Seychelles
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Colonialism has left its marks in the ordinary lives of people in postcolonial countries. One example of this can be found in the relationship people in postcolonial countries have with the local vernaculars compared to the colonial languages. Often the native languages are restricted to the private and social sphere, while for example English is viewed as the go-to way of ensuring socioeconomic development in countries of this kind (Fleischmann 2008; Hilaire 2009; Rajah-Carrim 2007; Sauzier-Uchida 2009). By reviewing the case of the Seychelles islands, this thesis aims to explore the possible effects of colonialism in how parts of the youth in the country think and feel regarding their language use and their own construction of identity as Seychellois. For historical reasons, Seychelles has three official national languages: Kreol, English and French. The first one did not get its official status as a national language until after the independence 1976, even if being the mother tongue of the vast majority (Bollée 1993, 96). Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted during an eight-week long field study in Seychelles. The respondents were students between 16 and 20 years old who were in their final phase of school, or had recently completed their schooling and started working. The results show that some colonial ideas and norms still can be found in how these young Seychellois thinks about their mother tongue Kreol Seselwa in relation to the colonial language English. Another aspect of the interviews was the respondents’ ambivalence regarding their construction of identity in relation to the national languages. This could be viewed as examples of hybrid, mixed-culture, identities that can appears in postcolonial contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 41
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-142149OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-142149DiVA, id: diva2:1159766
External cooperation
University of Sheychelles
Available from: 2017-11-24 Created: 2017-11-23 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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