Education Graduate Examines Advertising Culture in Business Studies Textbooks
Mrs Bongekile Mnguni, a staff member in the School of Education, recently graduated with her Bachelor of Education Honours degree for her research that examined how the cultural representation of the discourse on advertising within a prescribed Business Studies textbook is represented and why is it represented in that selected way. ‘I am proud to obtain this degree and it means bigger things are still to come.’
Her study further explored the relationship between the language used in the text and the use of power and dominance by the authors and publishers of the text. The focus of this study is on the words written within the business textbook to see what the discourse is saying from an advertising cultural perspective and who is the discourse benefiting.
Mnguni’s findings within the prescribed textbook reveals that the free market could be perceived by pre-service students as a system of choice. ‘Several scholars argue that advertising, as one of the defining institutions of the capitalist culture, convinces us to want things we otherwise would not desire and as such, advertising threatens personal autonomy,’ she explained.
Regarding knowledge gained, Mnguni believes that studies of this kind should be explored, as it does not only assist students but society. ‘Critical discourse analysis which aims to help the analyst or a reader to understand social problems that are mediated by mainstream ideology is relevant to all social classes and this should be introduced to students as a means of emancipation and as a social justice cause.’
Mnguni, who is currently pursuing her Masters in Education, advised other students to work hard and persevere.
Talking about her support system, she said, ‘It is always encouraging to know that you have the support from your family and friends. Their words of support and encouragement made me continue even when I felt like giving up. To my Line Manager Mr Themba Mbongwe, thank you for supporting me and allowing me to attend my lectures, to my supervisor for believing in me and to UKZN for affording me the opportunity to further my studies. All praise be to God.’