Partnerships established for aid and development purposes can be damaging if the hegemonic and ethnocentric assumptions of aid workers are not unearthed, acknowledged, and problematized. These hegemonic and ethnocentric assumptions can be particularly harmful when, within organizations like the United States Peace Corps, workers are encouraged to promote English as the sole language of legitimacy and value within a host country’s educational spaces. In this article, the author suggests one potential method for addressing this issue. The author and participants collaborate to mobilize Theo van Leeuwen’s (2007) framework for language legitimization, collectively examining discourse within a volunteer-generated narrative. This article examines the practical use of a table, inspired by Frigga Haug’s (2008) critical memory work, for narrative deconstruction and reconstruction. Furthermore, the method used appears to allow the participants an opportunity to expose and critique their initially subconscious assumptions and ethnocentric dispositions in a way that could have deep implications for their work within a post-colonial space.
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Mitchler, J. (2015). Discourse Analysis and Memory Work: Creating a Counter-Hegemonic and Counter-Ethnocentric Practice. Reconsidering Development, 4 (1). Retrieved from http://pubs.lib.umn.edu/reconsidering/vol4/iss1/2