The Construction of Otherness Through “Natural Definition”
Linguistic, Cultural and Identity Issues in Missionary Discourse
Through his works, Celestino Testore gave an important reflection on the construction of otherness by the “natural definition”. The missionary discourse ends up confirming or invalidating, through the play of representation, the identity of the young protagonists. In order to understand the linguistic and cultural issues of missionary discourse in a given intercultural context, this article is centred on a corpus of 23 missionary narratives for youth. These texts – published in Quebec and edited by l’Apostolat de la Presse – present a classical ethnological approach for which the identification of the Other results in a closed network of meanings that use comparisons based on an ethno-centred perspective. However, in this kind of discourse we can also observe some unexpected signs of interculturality.