Leadership and cultural frames in Wole Soyinka’s “The strong breed”

Ifeyinwa Rita Obiegbu

Abstract


Based on insights from sociology and critical discourse analysis, this study examines how religion enables persons and institutions to legitimise power and social control in a traditional African society. It shows that religion, besides being an instrument of social cohesion and harmony, can also serve the interest of the dominant group in the curtailment of the rights of the weak and the minority. This is built on the framework that the authorisation exercised by religious institutions and their agents is essentially derived from custom, tradition and conformity. The authorities of tradition and conformity ensure that agents sustain the cultural pattern irrespective of its consequences on human rights. This paper therefore examines how religious agents in Wole Soyinka’s “The Strong Breed” (1973) use the authorities of tradition and conformity to entrench tyranny. Analyses indicate that the social contradictions and conflicts that are immanent in the society of the play are functions of distinct ideological categories/cultural frames in dramatic conflicts which make social change inevitable.


Keywords


Wole Soyinka’s “The Strong Breed”; leadership; authorisation; legitimisation; religion and tradition

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18172/jes.3286

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© Universidad de La Rioja, 2013

ISSN 1576-6357

EISSN 1695-4300