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Literature Review: Ideas about Politics, Identity, Ideology and Critical Discourse Analysis

1. Al-Faki, I. M. (February 2014). Political Speeches of Some African Leaders from Linguistic
Perspective (1981-2013). International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 4 (3): 180-198.

Written by Ibrahim Mohamed AL-Faki, the article Literature Review: Ideas about Politics,
Identity, Ideology and Critical Discourse Analysis purposes to study the linguistic elements that
are generally used in the speeches delivered by the political leaders in the African context. The
study, according to the researcher has been undertaken under the vast framework of Critical
Discourse Analysis (CDA) and its sub field of Political Discourse Analysis or PDA. The analysis of
linguistic chunks, elements and structural parts to achieve their political and ideological goals. It
also intends to study the use of PDA tools to persuade and inform audience to win their support
for the political ends. The writer has also analyzing the linguistic chunks how the political
leaders have used the contexts to pass their messages to their target audience. To achieve
these purposes, the writer has started the paper with the definition of politics, political field
and political discourse, reviewing the literature in respect of political relation issues that are
couched in ideology, political context, vested interests of the politicians and electoral plans. The
writer has mentioned two major political ends; power and resistance and has reviewed
literature by Wilson, Chilton and Schaffner, Downing, Mcleod and Hergo along with several
The researcher has used the basic qualitative method for this analysis taking real life speeches
of the topical African leaders. He is of the view that these real life examples offer a flexible
approach, providing necessary information through printed and online secondary sources. The
literature review part comprises review of entire literature of rhetoric, its components of
contrastive pair, contrast, repetition, propaganda, its different techniques, communication
methods and the nature of political discourse. The writer has also reviewed academic studies to
show power, conflict, resistance, control and dominance and their working in the political
discourse. The writer has beautifully defined some political rhetorical terms such as fog,
gobbledygook, grammatical metaphors, ideational metaphors, pronouns and parallelism with
several other devices. The researcher has taken data from different speeches taken from
secondary sources and analyzed in the light of these rhetorical, literary and grammatical
devices to point out political power, conflict, resistance, convincing and persuasion used by the
political leaders to teach their target audience. These speeches include speeches by Thabo
Mbeki, Isaisas Afwerki, Kabila and several other leaders.
The researcher has found several of the gobbledygook, metaphors, evading metaphors and
other grammatical terms to hoodwink the audience that to grind their axe. Most of the
speeches were found merely rhetoric for the purpose of persuasion. Some of the uses of these
metaphors and evading metaphors was for the purpose of solidarity, while some others were
used for winning elections or hide truths. The researcher has made charts to count and
highlight some devices to deduce the real purpose behind the specific discourse. The
researcher has recommend the use of plain language by the politicians to avoid mutual
misunderstanding in conveying the message.