“’n Koningin volg hom”: Volkome vrou (1976) as antifeministiese agent

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17159/tl.v61i1.16615

Keywords:

Marabel Morgan, Total Woman/Volkome vrou, propatriarchal agent, antifeminist agents, Christian self-help books, propaganda, discourse structures

Abstract

Marabel Morgan’s book Total Woman (1973) is an international bestseller that appeared in Afrikaans as Volkome vrou (1976). In the book, the author provides advice to women on achieving a more fulfilling marriage, but the underlying principles seem to be antifeminist. This article examines the text as a possible tool for a specific social agenda, namely the preservation of patriarchy. Critical discourse analysis is employed to analyse the text, while referencing theoretical frameworks on Christian self-help literature and propagandistic texts. A two-fold hypothesis is proposed and confirmed through the examination: (i) The text exhibits the typical structure of a self-help book, which, combined with Christian and propagandistic elements, helps convey a pro-patriarchal message; and (ii) certain discourse structures, including questionable argumentative structures, are put in place to construct specific antifeminist ideas and present them as attractive to readers. Ultimately, it is possible to highlight the harmful consequences of this type of text for society—both past and present—as it perpetuates patriarchy by influencing readers’ social cognition.

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Author Biography

Amanda Marais, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Amanda Marais is lektor in die Departement Afrikaans en Nederlands, Fakulteit Lettere en Sosiale Wetenskappe, Universiteit Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, Suid-Afrika.

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Published

2024-06-28

How to Cite

Marais, A. (2024). “’n Koningin volg hom”: Volkome vrou (1976) as antifeministiese agent. Tydskrif Vir Letterkunde, 61(1), 102–113. https://doi.org/10.17159/tl.v61i1.16615

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Research articles