This volume is a research monograph analysing the South African Truth and
Reconciliation Commission (TRC) from an ethnographic/linguistic point of
view. The central proposition of this book is that the TRC can be regarded
as a mechanism that leads to the hegemony of specific discourses, thus
excercising power. The analysis illustrates how, through a certain type of
reconciliation discourse constructed at the TRC hearings, a
reconciliation-oriented reality took shape in post-TRC South Africa.
Basically, the study points to the long-term implications a truth
commission can exert on a traumatised post-conflict society. The book is
unique on several levels: TRC discourse is explored in-depth on the basis
of personal stories from TRC testifiers; a combination of Poststructuralist
and Critical Discourse Analysis approaches form the theoretical
foundations; and an extensive bibliography provides an impressive database
of TRC publications.