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GENDER POLITICS IN COMTEMPORARY AFRICAN LITERATURE: A STUDY OF SEMBENE OUSMANE'S GOD'S BITS OF WOOD AND BUCHI EMECHETA'S SECOND CLASS CITIZEN

CHAPTER ONE:

BACKGROUND

In characterizing African literature, critics have ignored gender as a social and analytic category. Such characterizations operate to exclude women's literary expression as part of African literature. Hence what they define is the male literary tradition. When African literary discourse is considered from the perspective of gender, it becomes evident that dialogic interaction between men's and women's writing is one of the defining features of the contemporary African literary tradition. Such redefinition has important implications for both critical and pedagogical practices. What it indicates is that neither men's nor women's writing can be fully appreciated in isolation from the other.

 

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The problem lies on the issues of gender politics in the African literature wherein various writers have clashes when it comes to views and ideas for example, pertaining to feminism and women in African politics

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of the study is to understand fully contemporary African literature from within gender politics to be critically presented of the two study in evaluation.

To find out classes and types of gender politics as ruled by the two famous proponents Ousmane and Emecheta

To be able to supplement current definitions of the male literary tradition and to define the features of the emerging female tradition in African fiction by examining some of the ways in which women writers have been written out of the African literary tradition.

 

RESEARCH QUESTION

Research questions are essential part of the research process, as this will imply a solid connection towards secondary knowledge composed of peer reviewed studies such as from academic centered journals and articles, also from documented information and facts from books having contents about leadership and change. The research questions serve as the initial organization flow of the study's review of the literature which leads to the creation of research methods and techniques.

What are the details and underpinnings that brought gender politics to be a part of the contemporary African Literature? This research will focus on the study of Sembene Ousmane's God's Bits of Wood and Buchi Emecheta's second class citizen.

 

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SUDY

The study is significant to literature advocates and educators of the modern times and significant to political officials as realizing gender politics view is not easy to take account into. Significant to master level students and graduates having literature majors and courses in module format.

 

SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study will be in five chapters, and will present preliminary literature studies concerning gender politics in the contemporary African literature

 

LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The study will be limited only to information dealing with gender and politics and the two study presentations and of cases and comparisons in lieu to African literature as of today's era.

Limited to case study and comparative method of Ousmane and Emecheta     

 

RESEARCH METHOD

Presenting case study and comparative analysis of the two studies with reference to gender politics in African context and standards.

 

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Gender politics may refer to a submerged category in colonial discourse, status that it has maintained until recently in African men's literature. While African men writers challenge the racial codes of colonial discourse and attempt to subvert them, they adopt certain aspects of the gender coding of their supposed adversaries in their representation of African women. The genesis of the Mother Africa trope, trope that pervades the African male literary tradition from Senghor to Soyinka, can also be seen as colonial literature.

 

 

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

 

"Feminism, especially the womanist brand, has been popular critical tool that most critics, men and women alike, have employed in their critical appraisal of African literary works. This is decidedly very fertile area of contemporary scholarship. The emergence of this critical methodology in the African context stems from the perceived relegation of African women to the background, whether at the home front or in the domain of governance in the larger society. Essentially, feminism preaches equality of the sexes and frowns at the domination of women by men. Paradoxically, African literary works, being products and reflections of the stresses and tensions of the African society, have replicated this scenario. African literature, consequently, is male-dominated. This has and is still engendering reactions from concerned female and male writers who are re-writing the history of the emergent literature, countering and challenging male chauvinism by presenting conscious, active, resilient and courageous female characters in their novels. It is this anti-male domination crusade that has given concreteness to the feminization of heroism in African fiction as exemplified, in this study, by Nigeria's Buchi Emecheta and Senegalese Ousmane Sembene, reflecting in the process, the singleness of purpose of female and male African writers in their collective fight against discrimination against women" – (Agho and  Oseghale, 2008: pp. 181-191).

 

Thus, for example "Jameson, in the ideology consists of 'strategies of containment, whether intellectual or (in the case of narratives) formal' (Political Unconscious 52-3). The function of such strategies is to legitimate the power position of one's self and group. The burden of the reading of the African male literary tradition has been to reveal the strategies of containment to which men writers have resorted in their attempt to legitimate patriarchal ideology. These include the embodiment of Africa in the figure of a woman, one of the most enabling tropes of 'post-colonial' male domination as well as of colonialism; the portrayal of women as passive and voiceless, images that serve to rationalize and therefore to perpetuate inequality between the sexes; and the romanticization and idealization of motherhood, a means of masking women's subordination in society" – (Stratton 1994, p. 172)

 

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

The methodology to be used for the study is case study, multiple sources of qualitative and quantitative date, the study endeavors to understand and have critical analysis of gender politics as placed by the contemporary African literature, data collection will involve oral narrative inquiry interviews. The need to examine case analysis and case analysis method, interview will transcribe and comment needs to be clustered together with given conceptualization. The research implies to qualitative methods such as open-ended questions and quantitative methods such as to request respondents to rank their views about specific question in the questionnaire, as one common measure in education research. Questions are needed to be examined for reliability and validity. In order to avoid the case when the respondent will be forced to give an inaccurate response when his real attitude towards the statements ranging from 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree and 5 = strongly agree, to be enclosed at.  Data will be collected and analyzed through using qualitative techniques such as pointing towards document analysis, interviews and questionnaire survey. The primary data is to be collected from the respondents in case situations, secondary data is to comprise of reference concerning research subject. The using of existing information on such levels into the study to be realized upon.

 

REFERENCES

Agho, J. and Oseghale, F. (2008). Wonder Women: Towards a Feminization of Heroism in the African Fiction: A Study of the Heroines in Buchi Emecheta's Second Class Citizen and Sembene Ousmane's God's Bits of Wood. Journal of Contemporary Research Vol. 5 2008: pp. 181-191

 

Stratton, F. (1994). Contemporary African Literature and the Politics of Gender, Routledge, pp. 1-200 

 

 


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