TABLE OF CONTENT
Table of content
Chapter One – Introduction
Chapter Two – Language and Politics
Chapter Three – Power relations in political campaign speeches
3.1 Power and Denomination
3.2 Power as Manipulation/Mind Control
3.3 Power as Liberalism
Chapter Four – Conclusion
Politics focuses on ‘who gets what’, ‘when and how’. It determines the process through which power and influence are used in the promotion of certain values and interests (Lasswell 1960, 1977; Danziger, 1998). The concept of politics revolves around three fundamental questions: Who governs? For what ends? And by what means? These are played out through discussion, disagreement, lobbying, rioting, campaigning and voting.
To be involved in politics therefore is demanding as certain things must be put into consideration. One of them is ‘power.’ Though power is an elusive concept, it is an ability to pursue and achieve goals effectively. It is the capacity in any human relationship to control behaviour and influence thought for the attainment of political goal (Moregenthau, 1985; Padelford, 1976). The other factor or variable is the ‘Language of politics’ which is the centrepiece of this paper. This can also be termed ‘political Language.’
Communication as a versatile process comprises verbal and non-verbal components. While the verbal form attracts both oral and written medium of expressions, the non-verbal aspect encompasses signs (iconic-diagrams, images/pictures); gestures (body languages/paralanguages) and other symbolic representations (coded languages). An important aspect of communication in this context is the participants-individual(s) and group(s) engaged in an interaction. Atolagbe (2004, p.180) elucidates on the process of such interaction by defining communication as:
A two way process, involving an encoder (i.e. a speaker/source) and a decoder (i.e. a listener/receiver) through whom language is used to pass across some message (e.g. information, idea, expression of a need etc.) and some response elicited, whether positive or negative, such that roles are exchanged between communicants along the line, and interaction takes place.
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