Exile identity : a discourse analysis

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

This study focuses on the discourses of exile identity and the subjectivity of an individual born in exile. The study also focuses on the methodology used whereby, unlike traditional research where the researcher interviews subjects; in this case the subjects interview the researcher. 6 individuals from different backgrounds, who will be referred to as participants, were chosen, 2 male and 4 females, to interview the subject (1, the researcher). The participants interviewed the subject, exploring her exile identity. The resulting taped discussions were analyzed. A discourse analysis methodology is used to analyze the conversations. Four main discourses are outlined, which have sub-discourses within them. The main discourses are the political, territorial, patriarchy and language. These discourses were identified by their repeated occurrence in the research material. These four discourses appear to be pervasive and are indicative of exile identity as it emerges in the subjectivity of the subject. These discourses can not be generalized to exiles in general. Although discourses were similar across the texts, there were contradictory discourses that emerged. These seem to be as a result of the inter-subjective field, and the differences between the individuals that were conducting the interviews. Due to the fact that it was a different interviewer each time, this created differences, as different issues were highlighted in the stories that were told by the subject, due to a different interaction with the participant.

Bibliography: leaves 54-58.