Essay on The Politics of Language and The Language of Politics

Essay on The Politics of Language and The Language of Politics

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Power and Ideology play a large role in how we perceive situations. Allahar and Cote (1998) discuss that ideologies are emotionally charged beliefs and ideas that mediate between individuals and groups; on the one hand, and social reality on the other had. They serve as mediums to understanding the world (Allahar &Cote 1998). Ideologies are presented to the public through language thus how people begin to accept and tout an ideology is based on the language through which it is presented. Language is a determinant factor in the formation of our perceptions of the world (Collins&Glover 2002).
The Onset of Piracy
The process of meaning making does not happen overnight and how we come to understand a word has a historical context (Collins&Glover 2002). Thus, how people come to understand piracy is generally linked to the historical meaning of the word which is rooted in criminality. The issue of piracy is often homogenized and presented as solely driven by greedy criminal intent. Piracy in Somalia can be understood as the unintended consequences of external forces in Somali politics. It is predominantly reactionary to growing inequality and abuse of resources that constitutes capitalism. However, situating all “pirates” under the umbrella category of criminals deflects from the multiple reasons behind piracy.
Piracy first emerged along the Somali coast as the state began to crumble and was not tied to criminals (Samatar et al 2008). These actors were associated with the political struggles in opposition to the Somali dictatorship that the United States maintained and they can be considered as “political pirates” (Samatar et al 2008). Their aim was to weaken the regime by blocking seaborne supplies from reaching areas controlled...


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...ds.11(3), 1-26

Chomsky, Noam. 2001. 9/11. New York: Seven Stories Press. Call number:

Chomsky, Noam. 1987. On Power and Ideology. Montreal: Black Rose Books.
Lectures 1, 2, and 5

Collins, J and Ross, G. eds. 2002. Collateral Language. New York: New York
University Press

Eitzen, D. Stanley and Maxine Baca Zinn. 2009. “Globalization: an Introduction”
(pp.1-9) in Globalization: the Transformation of Social Worlds, 2nd ed. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Hebron, Lui and John F. Stack, Jr. 2011. Globalization. Longman: Toronto, Canada.

Macpherson, C.B. 1965. The Real World of Democracy. Toronto: CBC Enterprises.

Marable, Manning. (2009) “Globalization and Racialization.” Globalization: the
Transformation of social worlds. Stanley Eitzen & Maxine Baca Zinn

Wilde, O. (1891). The Soul of Man under Socialism. Auckland: Floating Press.

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