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Critical Discourse Analysis Of Political Campaign For General Election 2018 In Pakistani Print Media

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The association between politics and language can be trace back to ancient Greece and since then the intellectual interest has been erected on the premise that political behavior is knotted with and dependent on language usage. Political discourse is all pervasive and cogent because of its sturdy power to access the general public at giant. It generates the influence on the general public perception, and, because of the political support of the system, they assume the ability of representing the general public sentiments. During this regards, the critical events are properly formed through the political discourse to present before public as their views. The motivation for our study depends on the requirement for objectiveness within the interpretation of the political discourse, placed at the intersection of three necessary symbolic spaces: the political space, the general public space and therefore the communicative space yet as on the requirement to measure to what extend a discourse will influence its direct receptor, the citizens, and in what ways that. The political language, essential in building a discourse, for print media discourse within the election context additionally, needs a knowledge base approach during which linguistics ought to co-ordinate with journalism, the rhetorical science, the communication sciences, the political sciences and therefore the social science.

Discourse Analysis (DA) is considered a technique to elucidate and analyze the results of any political elections. Indeed discourse analysis techniques appear to be able to determine a general approach toward election and politics through considering some issues, problems and queries. Additionally the space, the world, the sphere of persuasion and information is treated because the area of discourse struggle. Supported this assumption, political parties which will offer dominance to their discourse over others’ discourse can reach political competition and any party which fails in election campaign he/she can leave the election competition space. This is often discourse that permits researcher to spot every candidate’s capabilities and insight so as to possess the most effective alternative in elections. During this direction, our understanding of politics and present conditions of our town and country is incredibly vital. Thus a dominant discourse is that the one which will notice the most issues and needs of a society and submit an appropriate response to them. moreover discourse analysis aims to indicate however changes within the use of language are often seen as a proof of general social and cultural changes in an exceedingly society, that once more have to be compelled to do with changes in power relations. By doing therefore, crucial discourse analysis (CDA) conjointly encompasses a special perform in promoting knowledge domain scientific work (Fairclough, 1992:72).Critical discourse analysis (CDA) may be a branch for Discourse Analysis ordinarily used for analyzing political spoken and written texts. Fairclough (1995),a pioneer in trendy CDA, outlined it as: the type of discourse analysis that aims to consistently explore usually opaque relationships of relation and determination between (a) discursive practices, events and texts, and (b) wider social and cultural structures, relations and processes; to analyze however such practices, events and texts arise out of and an ideologically formed by relations of power and struggles over power; and to explore however the opacity of those relationships between discourse and society is itself an element securing power and political system.

According to Van Dijk (1988), media discourse normally, and news reports specifically, ought to even be accounted for in their title, i.e., as specific sort of language use or text as specific types of socio-cultural carrying out. The ability of media is plain as a result of it’s incited several important studies in several disciplines: linguistics, semiotics, pragmatics, and discourse studies (Van Dijk, 1993). within the interpretation of reports media, Van Dijk (1988) explores the notion of media news in daily usage and offers the ideas such as; (1) new info regarding events, things or persons; (2) a (TV or radio) program kind during which points are presented; (3) a news item or story, i.e., a text or discourse on radio, on TV or within the newspaper, within which new data is given concerning recent events (Van Dijk, 1988). However, Fowler (1991) interprets news as a product formed by political, economic, and cultural forces, not as a mirrored image of reality. He additionally emphasizes the tools of linguistics such as: the analysis of transitivity in syntax, lexical structure, modality, and speech acts. News isn’t described as an image of reality, which can be correct or biased however as a frame through that the social world is habitually created (Van Dijk, 1988). Additionally, he additionally argues that news ought to be studied primarily as a type of public discourse. Within the literature of newspaper, mass communication analysis, the economic, social, or cultural dimensions of stories and print media are self-addressed.

Statement of the problem

The analysis revolves round the thesis that discourse in mediating social actions, experiences and worldviews, and enacting personal and cluster relationships, is additionally a supply of declarative, legitimizing, maintaining and sustaining inequalities and injustices, power and dominance, abuse and bias, creating them seem as social conventions at intervals social departments. These asymmetries ends up in repressing language use that manifests within the variety of manipulation, social process, offensive language use, propaganda, use and abuse of power, gate keeping of what gets to be portrayed in discourse and what shouldn’t be portrayed within the imposition of a dominant ideology on the less privileged ones. One among the political events throughout that politicians attempt to use discourse to determine, maintain or sustain power is throughout political campaigns. The readying of linguistic facilities in political campaigns is that the initial determiner of the satisfactoriness of most candidates which impose their ideology on others in their quest to win the people’s mandate. They win this mandate by naturalizing and neutralizing their ideologies, creating them appear a part of the knowledge-base of their social establishment, and thence a suitable and incontrovertible ‘order of discourse’, and a part of common sense. These philosophic problems are hidden in texts such even those that suffer as a consequence a blind to them and should contribute to their sustenance. Previous students on political campaign by the parties in Asian country had tended toward an outline and analysis of favor, innovative and persuasive ways of politicians, and manipulation of linguistic structures to champion individual interest in presidential election campaign.

A number of the catchy, necessary and eye-opening studies on the social connectedness of discourse analyses Pakistani political scene. The investigator noted there’s a spot to fill in literature therein these students haven’t investigated such problems because the role of discourse in the production and sustenance of power and dominance; however language is employed and abused by several Pakistani politicians; the discursive ways employed by most Pakistan politicians for the upkeep of difference in several contexts; and the way language is employed by politician aspirants to project philosophic beliefs of people and teams to control the larger range of unthinking others. It is the higher than gaps within the few discourse analyses applied on political campaign in Pakistan that necessitated this study.

The present work investigates the interface between structures of discourse and structures of power within the three political parties, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of the country throughout election 2018. The study aims at evolution the hidden meanings concerning the social structures, intentions, identities and power relations of serving and intending politicians. These concealed meanings have to be compelled to be unmasked so the structures and power relations also Pakistani politicians are going to be honest, and additional Pakistanis are going to be woke up to the linguistic and discourse options that sustain the ideology and power relations that have continuing to present the ungenerous interests of only a few politicians.

Purpose of Study

Purpose of the Study and Research Questions With this background on the General elections 2018 in Pakistan, this study is investigating the newspaper hard news of the 2018 general election in Pakistan with regards to the way language ‘is employed, often in quite subtle ways, to reveal underlying discourses’ of ideologies different point of views. The discourse of political news is particularly interesting as they might clarify the relationships and power structure that exist between the members of the society. In essence, we are looking at the attitude of the press to the issues raised and we search for evidence of stance to pinpoint this. The newspapers constitute an important medium in reporting the elections in Pakistan. The study is also to sum-up, examine and understand the general election 2108 campaign by these parties as part of discourse and to find out if the political campaign selected have veiled sense and agenda also to rouse the awareness of language users to the effect of language on the individual and group ideologies so that as text producers and consumers, they may refrain from committing and accepting respectively, these oppressive, manipulative and suppressive dominant ideologies.

Significance of Study

Human beings are basically political animals whose political instincts are perpetually manifesting within the selection and use of words. The Critical Discourse Analysis, as we’ve got said before, goes beyond linguistic analysis to project socio-political messages inherent in linguistic expressions and its consequences on the listeners. The work can produce awareness and lift the consciousness of all stakeholders and significantly to language researchers within the Pakistani social setting to the potentials of discourse and texts to mediate dominant discursive practices. These students can gain insight into the peculiar power and philosophical structures underlying campaign. To text producers and shoppers, the work can give the inspiration on a way to use and settle for bound discursive practices that have thus far become the order of discourse. they might return to terms with the very fact that the questionable sense philosophical formations can be deconstructed in texts as a result of discourse has the potentials to ascertain these philosophical positions or to subvert them. Finally, politics has remained a veritable supply of human activities wherever language, whether or not spoken or written, is ideologically burled. As a dynamic human process associate degreed an interactive forum, it involves heaps of linguistic negotiation that incessantly yield contemporary knowledge that may be used for linguistics analysis. To the current finish, language specialists would be a lot of critically attentive to the dynamics of language. Not a lot of work has been wiped out the world of CDA within the Pakistani political discourse. The analysis would encourage future researchers during this field and supply a lot of insight into the means discourse sustains the connections between language, power and beliefs. This may thus expose the transformations in language and enlighten US on however it shapes and reshapes the given reality. Critical Discourse Analysis is provocative nice awareness within the issue of social power abuse, dominance, difference and linguistic repression.

Scope of Study

The study is intended to look at elections campaign texts throughout the General Elections 2018 in Pakistan. Two English daily newspapers Dawn and The News are selected to conduct CDA of political campaign of these three major parties of the country throughout the aforesaid elections. It commented by the opposition parties promoting the general belief that the elections were a monumental fraud of a sort that has never been experienced in the history of Pakistan. Its characteristics are organized law-breaking, ballot box snatching, voter intimidation, result manipulation and wholesale subversion of the need of the people, all of that were planned and executed by the ruling party to perpetuate itself in power. Hard News covered by these two newspapers are analyses as Political Discourse as a result of matter analysis using the general useful model is sometimes scrupulous, being that it looks at patterns created by long campaign of texts. The linguistic knowledge chosen can thus offer a quantum of information for analysis. Going beyond this may be unrealistic as a result of the limitations in time and space. The era additionally witnessed the mobilization of the voters through political campaign. There are totally different kinds of political campaign, however the print media remains one of the oldest mechanisms for election campaigns and it is one of the most vital sources of political information in Pakistan. Significantly, the selected texts form of discourse features, figurative and rhetorical devices utilized during the amount. This is sometimes done to achieve attention and generate interest through attacking campaign strategies.

Literature Review

Although the study of political discourse is as old as politics itself, it’s considered a young sub discipline of social sciences and humanities. Resurrected within the half of the twentieth century it’s rooted in two of the oldest academic disciplines, politics and rhetoric, and to some extent still shares with them identical normative and practical view of language use. Indeed, the link between language and politics is also found in Aristotle’s Politics, wherever the thinker ascribes to man the distinctive ability to use speech so as to differentiate between and label things as either; smart or bad; useful or harmful; simply or unjust; and then forth. If, according to philosopher, the purpose of politics is to create the voters happy, then language functions as a helper in achieving satisfaction. Within the field of rhetoric, Aristotle and others were primarily involved with persuasive means that used by a competent public speaker to achieve bound goals, as an example, to arouse worry, hope, and anxiety. Similarly, trendy critical political discourse students obtain to reveal the ways that during which political actors manipulate language to more a selected political cause or attain a definite result.

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Discourse is the study of any side of language use as per (Fasold, 1990, p.65). The aim of discourse is to search out how speech patterns work in specific structure and the way they’re used and exploited in society. It designates the actual ways in which represent the actual aspects of social life. Essential discourse Associate in Nursingalysis (CDA) is an approach to discourse analysis that is distinguished from the opposite sorts of discourse analysis attributable to its characteristic of ‘critical’. Fairclough (1993) opines, “Critical implies showing connections and causes that area unit hidden: it conjointly implies intervention, as an example providing resources for those that could also be underprivileged through change” (p.9).It was developed on the far side essential linguistics and broadened the scope of Public Policy and Administration analysis analysis. It analyzes the linguistic and philosophical theory aspects of the text within the lightweight of social and political context.CDA is Associate in Nursing knowledge domain approach that studies the matter structures in reference to society and observes the relation of the text with different texts. Vandijk (1998) states concerning CDA, “Most styles of CDA can raise questions on the method specific discourse structures area unit deployed within the copy of social dominance, whether or not they area unit a part of a voice communication or a report or different genres and contexts”. CDA approach the political discourse in a process where social structures determine the discursive practices. These discursive practices sit down with the foundations of socially acceptable behaviors during a specific character that facilitate to supply and interpret a message specific message. CDA is joined with these practices during this method that it tries to form a link between these practices, actual text and bigger social context. Van Dijk (1995) states that discourse analysis is truly ideology analysis. in step with him, “ideologies area unit generally, although not completely, expressed and reproduced in discourse and communication, as well as non-verbal semiotic messages, like footage, images, movies” (p.17). Mind control and manipulation are two vital ideas in CDA that area unit achieved through political discourse. Dominant the minds of the audience may be a major trick by politicians to reproduce hegemony. Manipulation and mind control have their relation with psychological feature. The word exploitation is replaced by the words ‘hidden meaning’ in CDA. Meanings of the words transform as per the speaker.

There lies a relationship between linguistics and CDA. The form and structure of the text consist of the hidden information that exists in the text and reflect the attitude of the dominant group. Wodak (2001) asserts that CDA’s interest resides in identifying how the linguistic forms are used in manipulation and exploitation. Similarly, Schaffner (1996) adds to the importance of language in analyzing the political discourse that in political discourse linguistics has a concern with linguistic structures in order to get relevant messages across the address in order to fulfil a specific function. Another thing that can be related to CDA is cognitive linguistics. Cognitive linguistics consists of a number of theories which are concerned with different aspects of linguistic structures/ conceptual structures like conceptual metaphor theory, mental space theory, frame semantics and cognitive grammar. So, cognitive linguistics is an apparent and obvious option for CDA. Its involvement to linguistic structures is confined to sentence only. The present study reflects clear connection between language and power and shows how the power is secured through artistic use of language in political discourse. The research exposes how human beings are manipulated by politicians and it is the manipulation of their minds through construction of mental models.Bourdieu (1991) states about political discourse: Political discourse is often important because the result of that discourse, and this in turn is why CDA is, in my opinion, an interesting approach. In other words, it is not the language itself which has wider ramifications which make it a worthy field of study but rather consequence of powerful person using that language to achieve some goal (p.188). Manifestos are the representatives of genre of writing that is political discourse. MacDonald (2001) states in this regard that Parties usually issue a manifesto in which they outline the policies they advocate. Elections manifestos formulate ideological goals and aims (cf.ex.1). An elector can have an estimate on party’s position on ethnic and cultural and racial grounds. Manifestos facilitate the voter to base her/his decision on the basis of party’s position on issues and vision that party hold. Manifesto text can be regarded as persuasive text. What actually CDA locates in political discourse of manifestos is very important thing because words represent the personalities. The words right and almost right convey two different meanings in political discourse.

There always lies a relationship between linguistics and CDA. The shape and structure of the text incorporates the hidden info that exists within the text and replicate the perspective of the dominant cluster. Wodak (2001) asserts that CDA’s interest resides in distinctive however the linguistic forms square measure employed in manipulation and exploitation. Similarly, Schaffner (1996) adds to the importance of language in analyzing the political discourse that in political discourse linguistics incorporates a concern with linguistic structures so as to induce relevant messages across the address so as to fulfil a particular perform. Another issue which will be associated with CDA is psychological feature linguistics. psychological feature linguistics consists of variety of theories that square measure involved with totally different aspects of linguistic structures/ abstract structures like abstract figure theory, mental area theory, frame linguistics and psychological feature descriptive linguistics. So, psychological feature linguistics is an evident and obvious possibility for CDA. Its involvement to linguistic structures is confined to sentence solely. This study reflects clear association between language and power and shows however the facility is secured through inventive use of language in political discourse. The analysis exposes however kinsfolk square measure manipulated by politicians and it’s the manipulation of their minds through construction of mental models. Bourdieu (1991) states regarding political discourse: Political discourse is commonly vital as a result of the results of that discourse, and this successively is why CDA is, in my opinion, a motivating approach. In different words, it’s not the language itself that has wider ramifications that create it a worthy field of study however rather consequence of powerful person victimization that language to realize some goal (p.188). Manifestos square measure the representatives of genre of writing that’s political discourse. MacDonald (2001) states during this regard that Parties sometimes issue a declaration within which they define the policies they advocate. Elections manifestos formulate philosophic goals and aims (cf.ex.1). Associate elector will have associate estimate on party’s position on ethnic and cultural and racial grounds. Manifestos facilitate the elector to base her/his call on the premise of party’s position on problems and vision that party hold. Declaration text is considered persuasive text. What really CDA locates in political discourse of manifestos is extremely vital issue as a result of words represent the personalities. The words right and virtually right convey 2 totally different meanings in political discourse.

By thoroughly studying the related literature, the following research questions for this study are developed to investigate and answer by conducting the critical discourse analysis of political campaign for General Election 2018 in Pakistani print media.

  1. What are the major themes and topics of public interest represented in Dawn newspapers during the 2018 General Election of Pakistan?
  2. What are the differences and/or similarities in the way in which the Dawn and The News newspapers report the 2018 general election of Pakistan?
  3. What are the Persuasion and argumentation strategies from Political parties represented in Dawn and The News?
  4. What are the differences and/or similarities in the reports before 2018 general election of Pakistan?

Theoretical Frame Work

The principles of theory or strategies, that guide CDA approach as analysed by Fairclough and Wodak. CDA addresses a social drawback instead of pure linguistic analyses. The approach is so downside –oriented. CDA is historical. The historical context is often analysed and integrated into the interpretation of discourses and texts. CDA is knowledge domain. Social group issues are too complicated to be studied from one perspective. Hence, it attracts on different disciplines to clarify and critically valuate social issues particularly because it affects social asymmetrical relations of power. Discourse constitutes society and culture. The macrostructure is that the basis for analysis (social structure) and therefore the microstructure serves to clarify and take a look at the macrostructure Intertexual and interdiscursive relationships square measure investigated. Power relations square measure discursive. The link between text and society is mediate. The approach is dynamic, a relentless movement back and forth between theory and empirical knowledge.

Investigating Political Discourse Political discourse has been extensively examined using the tools of vital Discourse Analysis (e.g. Fairclough 2000; Fairclough 2002; Jones & Collins 2006; Jones & Collins 2006; Mulderrig 2003; Weiss & Wodak 2007; Wodak & Chilton. 2005; Wodak & Meyer 2009). In these investigations, CDA treats discourse as a social observe and analyses the influences of social, political and cultural contexts on discourse. CDA uncovers essential linguistic characteristics of social relationships and social structures (Fairclough 1995).


For this study, as the analysis is qualitative in nature, techniques and procedures that were supported the approach of essential discourse analysis. We’ve to integrate 3 dimensional analysis approach „description, interpretation and rationalization employed by Fairclough with different tools offered by CDA, e.g. word selection, repetition, persuasive methods, denotive methods and positive self-presentation and negative other-presentation. With the assistance of those methods, the researchers have discovered however political and ideologic agendas are embedded in discourse which can play a big role in shaping the views of individuals. The data for the current study to be gathered from two English daily newspapers Dawn and The News. However, the only source of data collection is Hard news on political campaign covered by these newspapers during General Election 2018, in Pakistan. The purpose of this study is to explore how the same issue has been treated differently in the newspapers which underlay their ideology. Thus the study is an attempt to find out their hidden ideological meanings by following CDA. The purpose is to show how the treatment of the national issue of Pakistani social and political issues is thematically and linguistically different.

Population and Sampling

A population is an important element of the study where the results or the outcomes of the investigation are generalizable. According to studies a population refers to the limits within which the research findings are applicable. The population for this study is to investigate the campaigns of these major political parties by conducting CDA of hard news of two newspapers Dawn and The News. Odd dates of daily Dawn are selected for the study while even dates of newspapers are selected as a sampling for Daily The News.

Research Design

For this study, content research design is employed. This is because the study seeks to uncover the hidden meaning relating to the social structures, ideologies and power relations between the electorate and the political office holders. The research shows specifically how the aspirants through the manipulation of linguistic facilities reconstructed and controlled people’s thoughts, beliefs and perceptions in order to dominate them. The qualitative approach will be used to detect discursive structures within the transcript of the political campaign and discover the ideologies and power structures underlying them.

Research Instrument

While study I adopt one major instrument, the use of written records in form of hard news published in the selected newspaper during GE-2018 in Pakistan. Discourse analysis of written texts as a method provides the tools for describing the ideas and the relations among the ideas that are present in a text. The goal of this analysis is to describe and interpret the ideological and power structures in the texts of the intending governors of the south western zone

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Critical Discourse Analysis Of Political Campaign For General Election 2018 In Pakistani Print Media. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
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