Polarised Facebook Discourse on Anglophone Nationalism in Cameroon
Keywords:Critical discourse analysis, nationalism, Ambazonia (Ambazonians), one united Cameroon, La République du Cameroon
Technological advances have decentralised public communication through networked digital communication. The present paper seeks to critically analyze Facebook contradictory discourses and conversations on the future of the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. In November 2016, the Anglophone population engaged in civil disobedience against the Government of Cameroon over nonchalant attitude towards its predicament or refusal to address its grievances. Focus is on trolls and polarized conversations and discourses made by Anglophone activists on Facebook regarding the socio-political crisis troubling Cameroon since the end of the year 2016. Using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) as a methodological and theoretical approach, this study shows that there are two opposing views on Facebook: the separatists’ and the pro-unionists’ positions. On the one hand, the separatist activists through their Facebook posts discourse repudiate the pan-Cameroonian identity which they associate with francophonisation and cultural assimilation, and promote a separate Anglophone nationalism. On the other hand, the pro-unity Anglophone activists defend national unity and reject the secessionist discourse, thereby reproducing and expressing their adherence to the Pan-Cameroonian identity. This study will try to go beyond linguistic elements analysis to include a systematic construction of the historical and political, sociological and/or psychological dimension in the analysis and interpretation of specific texts/discourse.
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