Department of Language, Linguistic and Philosophy
Symbols, images and stereotypes in contemporary cultures
2nd Conference on Caribbean Culture and Festival of the Word
Date of Meeting
9-12 January, 2002
Place of Meeting
University of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica)
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Paper also presented as 'Symbols, images and stereotypes in contemporary human societies' at the Philosophical Society of Southern Africa Conference, Republic of South Africa, February 2003.
Explores the relationship between the word, as the vehicle for communication in language, and human consciousness- how it serves to register meaning, purvey fears, underscore associations, indicate comprehension, codify hopes, manage knowledge, cloak ignorance, represent our humanity, prevent possibilities, etc. In doing this the author selected for his exploration the aspects of embolism, imagery and stereotyping as deliberate and at times compulsive instruments of language. Argues that the patterns of language usage of yesteryears have not ceased to have power even in the light of technological transcendence of the cognitive, epistemic and methodological presuppositions of these linguistic practices. He contends that even today some of the codes employed in the academic in the form of multiculturalism, pluralism, libertarianism, modernism, post-modernism are general rubrics that often serve to mask the real issues and prevent frankness. Averts the attention of the academe to the dangers inherent, especially those operating on the fringes, in following uncritically the use of popular codes and jargons that are least understood or whose overall goals are asymmetrical with the ultimate interests as humans with a peculiar historio-genesis.....