Language and Manipulation: A Critical Discourse Analysis of All Progressive Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) War of Words
Keywords:manipulation, critical discourse analysis, ideological square, positive self
This paper examines the crucial role language plays in manipulating the act of discourse comprehension as a means of constructing mental models meant to effect mind control against the people’s best interests. To achieve this, the study utilises the rich resources of critical discourse analysis (CDA) precisely, the socio-cognitive framework, to analyse media political discourse within the Nigerian context. A number of discourses that hinge on the APC and PDP’s war of words over the issue of corruption extracted from the online editions of Nigerian newspapers constitute the data used for the study. The result of the data analysis indicates that Nigerian politicians consciously indulge in positive self-presentation and negative-other presentation by making use of the ideological square in the portrayal of self for the sole purpose of imposing their ideological designs on the entire populace in order to gain political dominance. Through the ideological square, each of the political parties aims at emphasizing the positive sides of its actions and the negative aspects of the other party while de-emphasizing its negative activities and the positive sides of the other through the use of manipulative language. Such manipulative use of language disables the people’s critical thinking for the manipulators’ benefit.
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