Gender dimensions in the language of local Hip hop songs in kenya.
Wanjala, Pamellah N.
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The question of gender bias is now seen as a major challenge in almost every discipline that deals with human behavior, cognition, institutions, society and culture. Therefore, this study is an attempt to investigate gender dimensions in the language of local hip hop songs in Kenya. It discusses the extent to which hip hop language is gender biased. It focused on the popular local hip hop songs and video images that occur with the songs. The study used the Social Semiotic Theory in the theoretical framework. Ten hip hop songs and ten video excerpts were purposively selected for analysis. The hip hop songs were coded according to the name of the artist and year of production. The data was analyzed under three sections: Linguistic analysis, Image analysis and Gender analysis. The study revealed that indeed there is gender bias in the language of the favourite youth culture. This was revealed in the lexis that distinguishes gender, in the syntactic analysis, in prosodic features and also in the image analysis. It was found that in hip hop music, men tend to be regarded higher in terms of roles, occupation and general human traits like strength and control than women. It also emerged that language (sheng') used in hip hop music is simple in terms of structure for clarity. The simple structure is also economical in terms of time and space and it is meant to reinforce meaning to the target audience who are the youth. The study therefore recommends that radio and television stations, and other advertising agencies should join the battle for women liberation by using gender sensitive language and focusing on positive and constructive societal changes in terms of gender roles. The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one provides the preliminary information, chapter two carries the literature review and the theoretical framework. Chapter three has the methodology used in the study; Chapter four has the analysis of data and the presentation of the findings and finally chapter five a summary of the findings and conclusions.