Özneden Nesneye: Söylem Analizi Üzerinden Hayvanın Değişen Statüsü Hakkında Bir İnceleme
Ergin Zengin, Sezen
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The aim of this study is to reveal the transformation of the status of animal from the early Turkic- speaking peoples to modern-day Turkey by looking at the linguistic reflections of their social construction. The status of the animal is shaped around cultural, historical, political and economic conditions, as in every social phenomenon. The lower status of animals is the result of a process which begins with the destruction of the harmonious relationship that humans had with nature and animals following neolithic revolution and domestication. The hierarchical superiority of human is constructed with a focus on the differences between human beings and animals, and it increasingly finds its reflections on language. In this study, within the framework of language, discourse and ideology it has been investigated how discourse reflects the world view of people, how reality is constructed, how the relations of power are established, legitimized and sustained, and how the duality of superior human-inferior animal pair practically worked against animals. The nature of human-animal relations hidden in ideology-mythology determined by culture-religion, economic order and political order has been put forward via critical discourse analysis. The status of animal compared to human beings in the early Turkic-speaking peoples was sought out in the Epic of Oguz Kagan, Irk Bitig and the Tales of Dede Korkut, and the world views around animals were examined in terms of Altai cosmology and animistic-shamanistic beliefs. Social analysis, discursive analysis and critical discourse analysis show, although at different levels, that animals (and nature) have created a dynamic, fluid and colorful image in the mental world of human. Animals are constructed as powerful agents who share destiny with humans; are subject to the same universal laws as humans; and have equal mental capacity with humans. In the modern era, animals are victims of an anthropocentric and speciesist viewpoint, and are exploited on the grounds of human interests in numerous sectors. The current lower status of animals is a product of the dominant speciesist ideology, and the established hegemony is so successful that the power relations between humans and animals are normal, natural and unquestionable. The capitalist mode of production and nation-state which have created and sustained these ideologies have transformed people's view of animals and nature. Following the critical discourse analysis applied to the texts of agribusiness, it has been observed that animals are mostly constructed as inanimate objects, machines or passive creatures giving only physiological responses. In a variety of ways, animals' individuality, agency, and personalities are being erased, they are compressed into artificial categories created by humans, and they become objects of economic reason that strives for efficiency and profit. This work investigates the ideological-discursive sources of animal oppression in the context of anthropology, critical discourse analysis, critical animal studies and posthumanism. It also presents a critical reading of concepts such as human-animal dichotomy, human supremacy, anthropocentrism.