In policy studies the analysis of political myths represents both a relevant and essential investigative field. As political symbols myths have the potential to transmit ideological content in the policy discourse and to influence the social construction of reality within political communities. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to gain better understanding of the role of political myths within the context of public policy in South African. However, the impact of political myths on public policy, and the function which these political symbols fulfil within policy discourse, represent an ‘invisible’ dimension in the public policy sphere. The study of political myths therefore poses methodological challenges to the policy analyst. The prevailing positivist-orientated research tradition in policy studies does not provide the necessary analytical tools for the investigation of political myths. Analysts are, therefore, compelled to draw support from analytical contributions offered by other study fields in this regard, especially those tendered by the discourse analysis. In this dissertation an archetypal and deconstruction approach is used to analyse the I am an African-speech of T.M. Mbeki as political myth. The functional role of I am an African as political mythology in the South African policy context is investigated with reference to State of the Nation Addresses delivered at the Opening of Parliament during the period 1997 to 2001, in which national policy programmes were announced.
Dissertation (M (Political Science))--University of Pretoria, 2005.