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Don’t lose cultural identity to power struggle, English language – Prof. Edu-Buandoh


  12 Avril      7        Education (297),

   

Cape Coast, April 12, GNA – Professor Dora Francisca Edu-Buandoh, a former Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), has challenged leadership to leverage power to shape society through decorous language.

She said the age-old Ghanaian values of respect, tolerance and hospitality, and its identity should not be lost to power struggle and the use of English as official language.

Prof. Edu-Buandoh, a Professor of English Language, was delivering her inaugural lecture on the theme, “Discourse of our time: Power, Norms of Language Us, Identity Formation.

The lecture focused on understanding that discourse involved analysing the language, narratives, symbols, and the ideologies present in communication to uncover underlying meanings and power dynamics.

It also highlighted various ways in which discourse could be used to influence society through power dynamics, social norms, historical contexts, and institutional structures.

The lecture was graced by many distinguished personalities, including stalwarts of the opposition National Democratic Congress led by Mr Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, MP for Odododiodioo, traditional leaders, as well as prominent members of academia.

Prof Edu-Buandoh observed that politics was a major field that evoked passion and the use of indecent language, particularly on the floor of Parliament denounced the use of politeness.

She cautioned that such acts of impoliteness marred the integrity and credibility of Members of Parliament (MPs) and misshaped society.

She pointed out that a strong relationship between power dynamics, language norms and the construction of identity in contemporary society must be given serious attention.

She, therefore, insisted that leaders must be deliberate and mindful of the Ghanaian culture of respect and tolerance in their discourse to promote an inclusive society where everyone felt valued and respected.

“Whenever we use language as a people, we are constructing our national identity,” she said.

Citing research she conducted on the UCC campus, the English Professor bemoaned the inability of some Ghanaians to speak their local dialects, a situation she said was injurious to the quest to preserve and promote a national identity.

The English Professor said power structures influenced and shaped language use and subsequently impacted individuals’ formation of identity.

Prof Edu-Buandoh, one of Ghana’s champions in English Language, was appointed as an Assistant Lecturer in 2000 and became a Lecturer in 2001.

She was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008 to Associate Professor in 2012 and rose through the ranks to become Professor of English in 2021.

Prof. Edu-Buandoh climbed the academic ladder from being the first female provost of the College of Humanities and Legal Studies to the first PRO Vice -Chancellor at the UCC.

Her areas of research included critical discourse studies, multilingualism, ideology, identity, and culture.

She has supervised numerous MPhil and PHDs and was committed to promoting excellence among students, especially young ladies and women.

She has many awards, certificates both national and international and articles to her credit.

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