CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF SELECTED POLITICAL CAMPAIGN SPEECHES OF GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES IN SOUTH-WESTERN NIGERIA 2007-2014

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ABSTRACT


Previous studies on campaign speeches in Nigeria have tended to be a description and analysis of style, innovative and persuasive strategies of politicians, and manipulation of linguistic structures to champion individual interest in presidential election campaign speeches. There is the need to investigate how texts reproduce and sustain power and unequal power relations in campaign texts and how ideological or political undertone was projected in gubernatorial campaign speeches. The study uses Critical Discourse Analysis to examine the role of language in creating and sustaining power relations as well as ideological structures in South-Western Nigeria. These power relations are created, enacted and legitimated by the application of certain linguistic devices. The researcher attempts to unravel hidden meanings and connotations of power in selected gubernatorial campaign speeches in South-Western zone namely: Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo and Osun states. The data for the study were purposively sampled from gubernatorial campaign speeches made in the four states during the 4th republic precisely 2007 - 2014. A total of eight speeches (two from each gubernatorial candidate of Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo and Osun state) were sampled and analyzed. The study drew from Fairclough‟s (2001) Members‟ Resources (MR), Van Dijk‟s socio-cognitive approach (2004), and principles from Halliday‟s system of mood and modality as theoretical bases. The findings show that the South-Western gubernatorial aspirants deployed language as a strategy of domination and supremacy by exploiting lexical items and strong imperatives which allow them to impose their views on others. They created, by means of their campaign texts, asymmetrical power relations of privileged „we‟ and less privileged „others‟. Another form of dominance or power abuse is mind control which is also a form of manipulation through interference with processes of understanding the formation of biased mental models and social representations. This is mainly achieved through persuasion, coercion, and information- giving strategies. Thus, the candidates employ certain declaratives to neutralize the asymmetrical power relations that exist between them and the electorate when they want to liberalise power. This, usually, had the effect of reducing the authority of the candidate. The aspirants also used discourse structures that have implications for ideology as weapons of persuasion and pleading, positive self-representation of „us‟ and negative other representation of „them‟, negotiation and personality projection. Additionally, the findings also reflect figurative expressions that are implicitly used to project different ideological positions of the aspirants. The figurative expressions predominantly used were metaphor, mainly metaphor of religion, time, journey, sports, violence and animal innovations which were used to project positive ideology of self and negative ideology of the other. There were also instances of linguistic items like idiomatic expressions, parallel structures, hyperbolic expressions and rhetorical devices used to unfold hidden ideological meanings. In the sampled data, there are some linguistic items which need to be drawn from the speakers‟ cognition, and this can be accounted for by Fairclough‟s Members‟ Resources. Based on these findings, the researcher recommends that text producers and consumers should be aware of the hidden ideologies and coercive elements in texts, and this will inspire them on how to use and accept certain discursive practices. Such empowerment is important to enable the people to determine the true interests of the speeches and for them to be more active and less gullible citizens. The study, therefore, concludes that in actual sense, the plethora of texts produced, distributed and consumed in the 2007-2014 gubernatorial electioneering campaigns in the South-Western Nigeria not only promoted asymmetrical power relations, they also produced, reproduced, legitimized and maintained social structures that sustain domination.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Table of Contents
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the Study
1.1.1    Ideology
1.1.2    Power
1.1.3    Language and Politics
1.1.4    Political Discourse
1.1.5    Context
1.2       Statement of Problem
1.3       Purpose of Study
1.4       Significance of Study
1.5       Scope of Study

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Related Literature
2.2. Summary of Literature Review

CHAPTER THREE: THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND METHODOLOGY
3.1       Theoretical Framework
3.2       Major Directions in CDA
3.2.1    Norman Fairclough‟s Approach to CDA
3.2.2    Wodak‟s Approach to CDA
3.2.3    Van Dijk‟s Approach to CDA
3.2.4    CDA and Functional View of Language
3.2.5    Connective Values
3.2.6    Deixis and Deictic References
3.3       Research Design
3.4       Population, Sample and Sampling Technique
3.5       Research Instrument
3.6       Procedure for Data Collection/Instrumentation
3.7       Method of Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR: IDEOLOGY AND LANGUAGE IN POLITICAL DISCOURSE
4.1       Ideology of Positive Self-Representation of „us‟ and Negative other representation of „them‟     
4.2       Ideology as Weapon of Persuasion
4.3       Ideology as Weapon of Negotiation
4.4       Ideology as Weapon of Isolation\ Personality Profiling
4.5       Figurative Expressions and Rhetorical Techniques as Ideological Tools
4.5.1    Metaphor as Ideological Tools
4.5.1.1 Metaphor of Religion
4.5.1.2 Metaphor of Journey
4.5.1.3 Metaphor of Economic Desire |Potential
4.5.1.4 Metaphor of Sports and War
4.5.1.5 Metaphor of Time
4.5.1.6 Metaphor of Animals
4.5.2    Hyperbole
4.5.3    Idioms
4.5.4    Parallelism
4.5.5    Rhetorical Question
4.5.6    Song as Ideological instrument of Persuasion
4.5.7    Adjectives as Ideological Tools

CHAPTER FIVE
POWER RELATIONS IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGN SPEECHES
5.1       Power as Domination
5.2       Power as Liberalism
5.3       Power as Mind Control/ Manipulation

CHAPTER SIX
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
6.1 Summary
6.2 Conclusion
WORKS CITED
APPENDICES


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION


1.1         Background of the Study

Discourse is all around us, whether we are looking at the esoteric language of a scholarly report, the imperative appeals to consumerism in advertising or the exchange of words performed in a dialogue. In all of these instances of discourse, there are certain underlying rules, and each of these is in turn dependent on the social context in which the discourse takes place. A dialogue between a parent and a child is different from a political speech, in terms of ideology, power relations and usage of words. Election campaigns and other types of political discourse are all fields of ideological battles which can be subjected to Critical Discourse Analysis. This is not surprising because, as van Dijk (11) says, it is eminently here that different and opposed groups, powers, struggles and interests are at stake. In order to be able to compete, political groups need to be ideologically conscious and organized. Discourse analysis challenges us to move from seeing language as abstract to seeing our words as having meaning in a particular historical, social and political condition. Our words are politicized, even if we are not aware of it, because they carry the power that reflects the interest of those who speak. Discourses can also be used for an assertion of power and knowledge, and they can be used for resistance and critique. One such occasion where discourse can be used to assert, sustain and legitimize power is campaign speeches.
The campaign speeches are important tools politicians use to express views and feelings to the public with the sole intension of re-shaping and re-directing the electorates' opinions to agree with theirs. The speech highlights, among others, the programmes of successive administrations and offers the speaker as the best candidate that can turn around the fortunes of the people. Politics is a struggle for power in order to put certain political, economic and social ideas into practice. In this process, language plays a crucial role since every political action is prepared, accompanied, influenced and played by language. According to Orwell, All issues are political issues and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia. When the atmosphere is bad, language must suffer” (525-43).

Linguists are getting more and more interested in both the linguistic structure of texts and how texts feature in the social process. An understanding of grammar, morphology, semantics and phonology of a text is necessary for the understanding of the text but the rhetoric intent, the coherence and the world view of the author and receptor promote a better appreciation of the text. Language, therefore, is no longer just for reflecting reality, it is central for creating reality. Discourse is a form of language use. It is a practice not just of representing the world, but of signifying the world, constituting and constructing the world in meaning. To Fairclough, a discourse is “a way of signifying a particular domain of social practice from a particular perspective” (14). Discourse Analysis (DA) is the analytical framework which was created for studying actual text and talk in the communicative context while CDA is a type of discourse analytical research that primarily studies the way social power abuse, dominance and inequality are enacted, reproduced and resisted by text and talk in the social and political context. CDA is particularly interested in the detailed interface between structures of discourse and the structures of power. Advocates of this research agenda called Critical Discourse Analysis claim that language is a form of social practice which the context is very crucial in its analysis (Wodak, 7; Wodak and Busch: 108). Scholars in the field believe that the choice of language which.....


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