Chapter 8.Language and gender in popular music in Botswana

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In recent years Botswana has seen tremendous growth in the popular music industry. Many of the songs that have recently been released represent critical commentary on contemporary Setswana society; they arguably construct, as well as reflect, the realities of urbanization, globalization and social change. In this chapter on the topic of popular music in Botswana I seek to answer the following research questions: How is gender represented linguistically in a selection of recent popular music in Botswana? How is such representation realised linguistically? I argue that the Setswana language is a key medium, spoken and written, through which Batswana transmit cultural values, and, as such, through it, gender identities are constructed, sustained and contested. The chapter concludes that these songs reflect the changing nature of Botswana society.


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