12/14 Culture-Specific Forms of Ideologies in Verbal Interaction: The Trobriand Islanders’ Ideology of Competition and Cooperation in the Make
In his last lecture, Prof. Senft elaborates on linguistic manifestations of ideology, understood as “commonsensical” frames with which a community interprets reality. Prof. Senft will present and analyze a speech addressed by his Trobriand informant Keda’ila to a group of schoolchildren. In his speech, permeated by Trobriand Islander’s education ideology, Keda’ila stresses the relation between the acquisition of knowledge (“kabitam”) and the traditional principle of competition coupled with cooperation (a form of competition whose basis are cooperative actions) that characterizes Trobriand society.
The educational-ideological background of Keda’ila’s speech offers meaningful insight into the way in which the Trobrianders conceive education in a globalized context. Keda’ila puts traditional matrilineal and community relationships in relation with a nation-wide and international context of competition. His speech illustrates how ancestral ideology is adapted in order to reinterpret local customs in the light of globalization, thereby ensuring the survival of the community.