Language and gender stereotyping: a case of language use in bongo flava music in Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study is about language use and gender stereotyping in Bongo flava (BF) music in Tanzania. Its objective was to investigate the portrayal of women in BF music by examining linguistic and non-linguistic features. A total of twelve songs were sampled and analysed using a method modified from Fairclough (1989) known as Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The study also included interviews to capture the diversity of ideas from different people. The results indicated that women are negatively portrayed in the way BF music assigns linguistic and non-linguistic attributes to women. They are illustrated in linguistic and non-linguistic elements that reflect society’s belief that women are homemakers, are dependent and are objects for satisfying men’s libido. The researcher recommends that the language used in BF lyrics should be gender-sensitive. The government should set by-laws stipulating that stern measures would be taken against anyone who wears or instructs artists to wear outfits that expose women negatively. Other studies can be conducted on linguistic and nonlinguistic aspects in other music genres like African jazz music to see if similar results are obtained.
Available in print form
Music and language, Gender stereotyping, Bongo flava music, Tanzania
Ndimbo, R (2012) Language and gender stereotyping: a case of language use in bongo flava music in Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. (Available at