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Language, Ideology and Power in Uganda
Miner, Edward Anthony
Doctoral Committee Chair(s)
Bokamba, Eyamba G.
Department of Study
Degree Granting Institution
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Since coming to power in 1986, the National Resistance Movement of President Yoweri Museveni has attempted to distance itself from perceptions of historic ethnocratic corruption by invoking regional, Pan-Africanist conceptions of linguistic respectability and political legitimacy. These include the widespread association of standard Kiswahili, as historically used in East African trade-union and military activity, with national integration and development. While the NRM's detractors tend to draw their models of linguistic respectability from Anglo-Kiganda discursive practice, which ultra-valorizes English (and to some extent Luganda) over Kiswahili and other Ugandan languages, the state tends to draw its models from Anglophone East African discursive practice more broadly, which value English and Kiswahili more equally. Emerging from partially overlapping sociohistorical contexts, however, Anglo-Kiganda and Anglophone East African discursive practices construct alternative linguistic identities which come into contention primarily in the context of other sociopolitical stakes.