A critical discourse analysis of President Obama First Inaugural Speech 2008
Language plays a prominent role in putting politic ideas into practice. At times, a struggle for power takes place by using language to carry out political actions. This paper is a critical discourse analysis one, analyzing a political discouse by President Barack Obama: the first inaugural address which conveys policies of the newly inaugurated president with effective persuasive strategies of President Barack Obama and their ideological assumptions. B. Theoretical background
There have been various statements of discourse presented by linguists. In the 1989, it is claimed by Fairclough the term discourse can be used to “ refer to the whole process of social interaction of which a text is just a part” (Fairclough 1989: 24). According to Titscher, discourse “integrates a whole palette of meanings” (Titscher et.al. 1998: 42), ranging from linguistics, through sociology, philosophy and other disciplines. Richard& Platt considered discourse to be a general term for examples of language use and the result of an act of communication. ( Richards & Platt, 1997). In Gee’s view, discourse is language plus “ other stuff” which are values, belief, symblols, objects and places, etc. These linguists refer discourse to language in use and a process which is socially situated. 2. Critical Discourse Analysis
The main assumption of CDA that makes the differences between this and other approaches to text analysis is that it emphasizes not only the propositional meaning of a text but also its ideological assumptions Fairclough (1993: 135) regards CDA as “discourse analysis which aims to systematically explore often opaque relationships of causality and determination between (a) discursive practice, events and texts, and (b) wider social and cultural structures, relations and processes; to investigate how such practices, events and texts arise out of and are ideologically shaped by relations of power and struggles over power; and to explore how the opacity of these relationships between discourse and society is itself a factor securing power and hegemony”. He also supposes ”language as social practice“ (Fairclough/ Wodak 1997). CDA goals are to illuminate the specific mechanisms through which dominance/subordination- elements which structure society as a whole- are produced in daily life ( Rathzel, in Wodak 1997: 57) CDA studies the formal properties of the text, the connections among textual structures and takes the relationship between text and interaction as well as the relationship between interaction and social context into account. A close analysis of context should be included in the text interpretation as Huckin says “the immediate environment in which a text is produced and interpreted but also the larger societal context including its relevant cultural, political, social and other facets.” (Huckin:1997,79). Theoretically and descriptively we need to explore which structures and strategies of the first inaugural speech of President Barack Obama in order to discover patterns of propositional meanings and ideological assumptions in texts. Therefore, it seems to be inevitable that the writer, by choosing specific linguistic structures, tend to persuade readers in order to make them accept and believe in the messages implied in the text. Critical discourse analysis aims at readers detecting this manipulation. C.
Stage that is concerned with the formal properties of the text ( vocab, grammar, textual structure, experiental value, relational value, expressive value, connective value) Critical Discourse Analysis aims at revealing how texts are constructed so that particular messages can be expressed clearly and delicately 1.1. Outline
The outline of the inaugural speech can be internally divided into the following six...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document