SEXISM AND POWER DOMINANCE IN FEMI OSOFISAN’S ALTINE’S WRATH AND WOLE SOYINKA’S A PLAY OF GIANTS: A SOCIO-DISCOURSE ANALYTICAL STUDY

SEXISM AND POWER DOMINANCE IN FEMI OSOFISAN’S ALTINE’S WRATH AND WOLE SOYINKA’S A PLAY OF GIANTS: A SOCIO-DISCOURSE ANALYTICAL STUDY

ABSTRACT

As a social phenomenon, language reflects all aspects of human endeavor. The various reflections have been investigated in different sociolinguistic studies. However, few of such studies have employed the discourse analytical approach to investigate literary texts. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of sexism and power dominance on selected drama texts through a linguistic lens on sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. Existing studies have shown that the aim of studying conversations in literary texts is to uncover how characters understand and respond to one another during conversations based on their gender or that of their interlocutors. Therefore, this study investigated the discourse features of men and the women’s utterances in Femi Osofisan’s Altine’s Wrath and Wole Soyinka’s A Play of Giants.

The two texts for analysis were purposively selected due to their thematic thrust with gender issues. A total number of three hundred and fifty (350) utterances in 40 conversations involving men and women in the selected literary texts were purposively selected as the data for analyses. The study employed the discourse tools of participants, turn-taking, adjacency pairs, interruption, speech errors, exchanges, directive acts, informative acts, elicitation overlaps in analyzing the data.

The result revealed that utterances in the context indicated an undeniable evidence of sexism and power dominance. The instances of turn-taking, and speech error showed abundance of a high level sexism and power dominance such as when Lawal told Aina that women no longer have a place in the society, that it is the men’s world. The utterances by Lawal is used to show a high level of sexism.  The analysis also showed that women are regarded as mothers, wives, and their roles are reflected in their manner of speech. Examples include, when Lawal told Mariam that the only thing Altine understands is sweep the house, cook the food, wash napkins and mop the floor, that anything outside that is zero. The analysis revealed that men use more of speech errors, elicitations, directives, interruptions, overlap, and repair mechanisms while women use more of informative during conversations.

The study concluded that women’s utterances are less direct than men’s powerful language. It was recommended that further sexism studies should be done from other linguistic perspective such as a conversational analysis of sexism and power dominance in selected Nigerian prose, a lexico-semantic analysis of sexism and power dominance.

Keywords: Conversations, Sociolinguistics, Discourse, Sexism, Power dominance