The Third Volume in the series Communication Processes engages in understanding processes of communication in relation to cultural configurations and contending forces that permeate them. This volume is positioned at the interface of culture and communication—exploring ways in which interaction, negotiations, and even conflicts are voiced. It re-examines our conception of culture to show that communities cannot be divided into polarities such as ‘elite and popular’ or ‘dominant and subaltern’—establishing that such clear divisions cannot exist in society. Culture is therefore perceived as a field of contending forces: a milieu of exchange, encounter, confrontation, and possibly conflict.
Chapter 4: The Donkey: A Mirror of Self-Identification
The Donkey: A Mirror of Self-Identification
Three examples of structural analysis and thematic interpretation of oral myths that incorporate the personage of the donkey as a significant ‘agent’ or ‘actant’ (Ricoeur 1971: 43) are submitted with the view to mainly project points of method. My conviction is that we cannot inconsiderately use, let alone abuse, at will any so–called ‘folk’ cultural form even for commendable cultural or development purposes. Reappropriation should not be manipulation or mere instrumental utilization, leave aside misuse, but fair reinterpretation grounded in a semantically safe reassessment. A fruitful and legitimate interaction of past and present cultures raises issues of methodological transparency, that is to say, proven procedures of validation.
It is with such questions relating to modes ...