Discourse Analysis of Mediated Political Advertisement Campaigns
Date of publication:
June and December 2007
Despite previous studies on political discourse, the genre of political advertisement campaigns remains unexplored. This article aims to analyze the persuasive and invasive nature of such a genre as it simultaneously engages various domains in society through its mode of communication. A combined analysis of genre, political strategic functions of coercion and legitimization, and speech acts employed in the campaigns illustrates an important link between language and politics. The weaving of these forms of analysis attempts to create an awareness that may be beneficial in three ways. First, the identification of the generic structure and communicative purpose of political advertisement campaigns (PACs) enables the participants in the discourse to be conscious of the essential elements in their structure. Second, a political discourse analysis enables the participants to be more critical of the political strategies of coercion and legitimization. Also significant is the use of varied appeals such as emotional, logical, and source credibility as these may be indexical of the culture of the electorate and the culture in which it occurs. Third, these political strategies are closely linked to the use of language as manifested in the speech acts employed in the campaigns. A speech act explains how an utterance may achieve the communicative purpose of a mediated PAC. In summary, the study presents the interrelationship of media, politics, and language used in mediated political advertisement campaigns, which may prove valuable to the discourse participants who need discernment in their decisions.