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Domination is not merely done through economic and physical control but is also affected or done through discourse (power and knowledge). Discourse de

Discourse & Dependancy in the Shifting World

Ramji Achary


Kathmandu University

School of Education


Culture, Discourse, Differences, and Disjuncture

Culture and Colonization

Culture is a complex concept that is difficult to describe in a definition or is challenging to capture all the essential parts of the culture in one definition however some writers and illustrators have defined it as a set of superior values, especially embodied in works of art and limited to a small elite. On the other hand, it is defined as a whole way of life. In conclusion, culture can be defined as the integration of all the human values in terms of societal function for harmony. Cultural understanding requires knowing the differences in knowledge, perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours. Culture can be defined as all the ways of life including arts, beliefs, and institutions of a resident which are improving descended from the forefathers that possess codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, art, and behavioural norms such as law and morality and belief system of a particular society.

In the notion of international relations, we can find the cultural influences in different mediums. The term colonialism is complete against the multicultural identity of the society. The main agenda of the colonialists is to take control over local culture and impose the one which they preferred. The fundamental basis of the identity of any society is deeply rooted in culture. Colonialists control the social production of wealth through military conquest and political dictatorship and finally, through culture, economics, and political control can never be complete or effective without mental control (Ngugi,1985). To control a people's culture is to control its tools of self-definition in relationship to others. The two aspects of colonialism involve destruction, or the deliberate undervaluing of a people's culture, its art, dances, religions, history, geography, education, orator, and literature; and the domination of a people's language by that of the colonizing nation.

English as a Culture

People are celebrating birthdays with a slice of cake and drinking alcohol. In the culture I remember of my father's generation; slicing cake was not in practice however holy preaching with fasting was a practice that I can vividly remember. Along with new practices we are slowly giving up those scientifically accurate traditions. Along with the song Happy Birthday To You, even the grandparents are entertaining the slice of cake though the meaning of the song is not quite sure to be familiar for those generations. Even the government is imposing the English language on schoolchildren in the name of modern education (Phyak, 2015). Imposition of the English language as a medium of instruction is leading the minority and ethnic language and associated languages towards identity crisis. The field-based difficulties inside the language classroom and the possible degeneration of the existing culture which are associated with the language should be preserved by the policymakers. According to Phillipson (1996), various governments promoted the spread of English but They did not explore the effects of the promotion  The spread of English tends to be deterministic impositions English spreads is not merely the displacement of one language by another  But the imposition of new "mental structures /culture" through English. The  English language can be seen as local, social acts that move towards community only through the cultural relationships of daily life.

Discourse and Culture

Domination is not merely done through economic and physical control but is also affected or done through discourse (power and knowledge). Discourse determines how people think and act ( culture).  The discourse made by western or colonizers about the culture that the knowledge, language, and culture can be handled or imported as other commodities. Westerners believe that they only have knowledge and power that can be imported into the east. To preserve the local culture those discourses need to be dismantled and counter-discourse should be articulated.  An alternative strategic response to the global spread of western knowledge and culture should be developed.  There are two types of cultural discourses in relation to culture and cultural differences. 

The first conservationist or traditionalists developed two types of culture as high-level culture and low-level culture. The real difference between the culture starts from the route of high and the low system of hierarchy. The difference in culture has been existing in society as so-called high-class people practice it ad a matter of prestige. This view of cultural differences creates a serious problem and might divide society into two faculties. Such a position articulates nothing but disrespect for cultural practices that diverge from those of the Centre. 

Second, a liberal pluralist view may allow for greater tolerance of difference, but it again presents problems in terms of often maintaining the same high/low distinction as the conservative view Finally, the critical views world is all too often reductionist and deterministic since it relegates culture to a position both separate from and secondary to socioeconomic 'realities'. 

The Discourse on the English Language as an International Language

There are three discourses about the spread of English as an international language. They are natural neutral and Beneficial. Naturally, the Colonial imposition of English Inevitable global force as it comes with different means like trade and culture. Similarly the 

The neutral discourse of the English language spreads in the world detached from its original cultural contexts (particularly in England and America). Duet the natural spread ness of the English language the varieties of local  Englishes have emerged. It is always good to have many languages in practice according to their natural existence but it should not be a barrier to local cultural and linguistic development as the language and culture are directly associated with the identity of a certain group of people. 

On the other hand, the beneficial discourse about language sadness is associated with international trade.  Due to trade English language has become the language of commerce, science, and technology but also an international language of communication. It has been mostly used as a lingua-franca in the commercial world. It has become beneficial for traders and international visitors. Language can be learned and taught for different purposes however in this discourse expansion of the English language is associated with the beneficial reasons of different variables.


It is essential to understand the roles of discourse and culture in the world. Discourses, as systems of power/knowledge relationships and limits, produce the ways in which people around the world can think about democracy, education, modernization, development, religion, freedom, and justice. The Discourse plays a key role in constructing and reconstructing international relations. In the discussion of the discourse and culture, the culture comes as a way of making meaning of our lives and Involves us in struggles over meaning.  It makes for the particularity of the worldliness of English. English is always bound up in these cultural politics. 

Ramji Acharya

Kathmandu University, School of Education


Wa Thiong'o, N. (1992). Decolonising the mind: The politics of language in African literature. East African Publishers.

Phillipson, R., & Skutnabb‐Kangas, T. O. V. E. (1996). English only worldwide or language ecology?. TESOL Quarterly, 30(3), 429-452.

Phyak, P. (2013). Language ideologies and local languages as the medium-of-instruction policy: A critical ethnography of a multilingual school in Nepal. Current Issues in Language Planning, 14(1), 127-143.

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