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A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF SPEECHES

  • Type:Project
  • Chapters:5
  • Pages:65
  • Format:Microsoft Word
(English Project Topics & Materials)

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study……………….…………………………………………………….1

1.1.1 Obi Ezekwesili………………………………………………………………………………2

1.1.2 Abike Dabiri………………………………………………………………………………...4

1.2 Statement of the Problem……………………………………………………………………4

1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study…………………………………………………………..5

1.4 Research Questions …………………….…………………………………………………..5

1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study ………….………………………………………………6

1.6 Methodology…………………………………………………………………………………6

1.6.1 Research Design…….…………………………………………………………………….6

1.6.2 Sampling and Sampling Procedures………………………………………………………7

1.7 Significance of Study……………………………………………………………………….7

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.0 Introduction………………………………………………………………………………….8

2.1. Discourse and Critical Discourse Analysis…………………………………………………8

2.2 Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis (FCDA) and Feminist Post Structuralist Discourse Analysis (FPDA)………………………………………………………..………………………15

2.3 Text, Context and Discourse in Discourse Analysis (DA)…………………………………..17

2.4 Language in Use…….………..……………………………………………………………..21

2.5 Identity and Role……………………..………….…………………………………………..22

2.6 Position and Attitude……………………………………………………………………….25

2.7 The Discourse of Prejudice…………………………………………………………………27

2.8 Power and Ideology ……………………..……………………………….………………...31

2.9 Theoretical Framework……………………………….…………………………………….32

2.9.1 CDA Approaches and their Applicability to the Current Study………………………..32

CHAPTER THREE

POWER, IDEOLOGY AND INSTITUTION IN OBI EZEKWESILI’S SPEECHES

3.1 Introduction………….……………….………………………………………………………36

3.2 Analysis……………..………………………………………………………………………..36

3.3 Discussion……………………………………………………………………………………44

CHAPTER FOUR

POWER, IDEOLOGY AND INSTITUTION IN ABIKE DABIRI’S SPEECHES

4.1 Introduction………………………...………….……………………………………………46

4.2 Analysis……………………………………….………………………………...……………46

4.3 Discussion……………………………………………………………………………………54

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

5.1 Summary of Work……………………………………………………………………………56

5.2 Summary of Findings………………………………………………………………………57

5.3 Implication of Study…………………………………………………………………………62

5.4 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………64

Works Cited……………………………………………………………………………………...65

ABSTRACT

This study is a critical discourse analysis of Obi Ezekwesili and Abike Dabiri’s speeches. It adopts some conceptual framework such as identity and role, ideology, power and institution, discourse of prejudice, language use etcetera; while socio-cognitive and discourse–historical approaches are adopted as theoretical frameworks. The data used are randomly selected speeches by the two prominent Nigerian women. Findings reveal among other things that: the two Nigerian women leaders studied have feminist tendencies as demonstrated in their various speeches; the sociopolitical statuses of the two women, at every point in time, determine their use of language; their speeches are also conditioned by the institutions they represent at every point in time; apart from their feminist ideologies, they also demonstrated concerns at various levels for the welfare of the country in their speeches such as advocacy for a dignified Nigeria; and the idea of naturalization can be deduced from their speeches as they try to identify with the suffering masses. The study’s contribution to knowledge is simply a marriage of CDA as a linguistic field with feminism. Although, this study is not the first of its kind, as far as this researcher’s knowledge is concerned, it may be the first to consider the data used (that is Obi Ezekwesili and Abike Dabiri’s speeches).

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background to the Study

The major thrust of this dissertation is to analyze the speeches of two of Nigeria’s frontline women, Obi Ezekwesili and Abike Dabiri from the Critical Discourse Analysis perspective. The study is motivated by the fact that ‘language as simple as the term seems is not only a means of describing reality but plays significant roles in determining and shaping reality and the world around us’ (Reponen 4). This reality has been observed in the speeches of these women through their language use; hence, there is need to study them. And, the best linguistic tool that suits such a study, in this researcher’s own opinion, is critical discourse analysis because of the relationship between language and discourse. Fairclough (18-19) defines ‘language use’ as “socially determined”, and ‘Discourse’ as “language as a form of social practice”. According to him, language does not exist outside of society but is a part of it. When people use language, they follow certain norms and rules that have been socially determined, and language use affects, for example, people’s world views and reality (Fairclough19). He adds that ‘language’ is a social process, in which both the production and interpretation are included. He continues in explaining that language is a social practice that is conditioned by the context, which includes not only the immediate situation of language use but also society. (19-20)

Fairclough (21) further explains that discourse can then be seen to consist of three dimensions: the text itself (written or spoken), the processes of its production and interpretation and the social conditions relating to its production and interpretations. He also says that when we produce and interpret language, we draw upon the knowledge which is already in our heads, for example, about language, values and beliefs. According to him, this knowledge is socially constructed, dependent on our social relations and it is socially transmitted. Because of this social nature, language is closely related to power and ideologies, making it possible to dominate other people and shape societies (Fairclough in Reponen 5). In line with the above assertion by Fairclough, Obi Ezekwesili and Abike Dabiri, as a result of their statuses have voiced their knowledge and opinion of the Nigerian society in many issues especially as they affect the women and children.

In addition, Critical Discourse Analysis (henceforth CDA), like a coroner’s office where a dead body, unable to speak, is dissected for the purpose of discovering the cause of death, is the right place to perform an autopsy on the discourse, spoken or written, in order to unveil the underlying  ideologies in it. CDA, as a method of analysis in Discourse, tries to focus on relations between ways of talking and ways of thinking, and highlights “the traces of cultural and ideological meaning in spoken and written texts” (O’Halloran1,946). The ideologies behind the speeches by Obi Ezekwesili and Abike Dabiri are, therefore, relevant for this study.

1.1.1    Obi Ezekwesili

Dr. Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili is a Senior Economic Advisor at Open Society Foundations (OSF), a group founded by investor and philanthropist, George Soros. She also jointly serves as Senior Economic Advisor for Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative (AEDPI), a program of the Open Society Foundations. In these roles, she advises nine reform-committed African heads of state including Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia. Before joining OSF, she was Vice President of the World Bank (Africa Region) in Washington, D.C., responsible for operations in 48 countries and a lending portfolio of nearly $40 billion. From 2002 to 2007, Ezekwesili worked for the federal government of Nigeria as Minister of Education, Minister of Solid Minerals, head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit as well as Chairperson of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) where she led the first ever national implementation of the global standards and principles of transparency in the oil, gas and mining sectors. She was a key member of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Economic Team. Ezekwesili is a founding Director of Transparency International, representing Africa at the global anti-corruption body based in Berlin.

1.1.2    Abike Dabiri

Hon. Abike Kafayat Oluwatoyin Dabiri Erewa (Nee Erogbogbo) was Born On 10th October 1962 at Ikorodu Lagos state, Nigeria. She is also an alumnus of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, University of Lagos and Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA. She is a three term member of Nigeria’s lower chamber (House of Representatives) from Lagos state. During her period in the house, she chaired the Diaspora committee. She is the current Senior Special Adviser on Foreign affairs and Diaspora to President Muhammadu Buhari.

1.2 Statement of Problem

This study is a critical discourse analysis of speeches by Obi Ezekwesili and Abike Dabiri. It is a study that dove tailed into feminism and other social issues as observed from their various speeches at various social functions. Since CDA is interested in the WHO of the speaker and WHAT of the discourse (message), the study has attributed some importance to these speeches because of the personality of the speakers and the significance of their messages for societal development. Thus, the Power and Ideology embedded in these speeches as a result of the psychological disposition of the speakers are to be unveiled.

1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study

This research, aims at unveiling the embedded ideologies in the speeches of two prominent Nigerian women (Ezekwesili and Dabiri). This will been achieved through the objectives below:

i.                   By uncovering the linguistic devices or expressions used to cover their psychological input in these utterances.

ii.                 By establishing reasons why they have spoken the way they did at every point in time.

iii.              By establishing the nexus between their social status at the time of making the utterances and the significance of the events where the speeches were delivered; since, they both served in different capacities as stakeholders in nation building.

1.4 Research Questions

i.                   What are the linguistic devices or expressions used to cover the psychological input in the speakers’ utterances?

ii.                 What is or are the reason (s) why they have spoken the way they did at every point in time?

iii.              What is the relationship between their office at the time of these speeches and the significance of the events that shaped their speeches?

1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The work covers solely the speeches of two out of many Nigerian women who have contributed immensely to the social, political and economic development of the country. The women so selected are Obi Ezekwesili and Abike Dabiri. Ezekwesili’s speeches that were selected for the study cover education, economy and feminism. For Dabiri, the study has selected her speeches in relation to Nigerians in the diaspora, political liberation for women and education.

No effort crowned with success is without challenge (s). The unavailability of the target women (Obi Ezekwesili and Abike Dabiri) as a result of their daily official commitment hindered the designed interview structured for this research; therefore, the study relies solely on their written speeches as delivered in different fora for want of time.

1.6 Methodology

1.6.1.  Research Design

The study is content analysis relying on secondary data. The data for analysis were Obi Ezekwesili’s and Abike Dabiri’s written speeches delivered at different events. The data for review of literature were scholar’s opinions, positions, assertions, arguments, explanations etcetera as reflected and contained in text books, handbooks, unpublished projects and articles in journals.

1.6.2.  Sample and Sampling Procedure

The data samples were randomly selected out of many speeches made by the two women. The choice of selecting Obi Ezekwesili’s and Abike Dabiri’s speeches was not because they are the most out spoken women in Nigeria or Africa but for their experience in private and public services respectively and their political involvement over time.  Also, their incessant comments about trending issues, in order to make their own contributions in nation building as stakeholders necessitated this choice. Out of the many speeches delivered at various fora by both women, sampled speeches that relate to education, feminism, economy, diaspora and politics became relevant for this study. The speeches were partly collected from the internet and Women Development Centre, central area, Abuja. For the literature review, some materials were from the library and others from the internet. 

1.7 Significance of the Study

Future researchers (especially women) will find this study informative, resourceful and encouraging. The work will also be resourceful for students and language teachers especially in gender discourse and critical discourse analysis.

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0 Introduction

This chapter presents and review some conceptual frame works to the subject of study. Some of the conceptual frame works in this study include: discourse and critical discourse analysis, text, context and discourse and feminist critical discourse analysis and so on. The chapter also considers the theoretical framework and adopts social cognitive and discourse historical approaches as they are more suitable to the current study.

2.1. Discourse and Critical Discourse Analysis

Discourse, no doubt, encompasses all aspects of social relation and practices. It is a broad term with various definitions and it “integrates a whole palette of meanings” (Titscher, 42 in Bayram, 26), covering a large area from linguistics, through sociology, philosophy and other disciplines.  According to Fairclough (24) ‘discourse’ refers to “the whole process of interaction of which a text is just a part”. As there are pervasive ways of experiencing the world, ‘discourse’ refers to expressing oneself using words. ‘Discourses’ can be used for asserting power and knowledge, and for resistance and critique. The speaker expresses his/her ideological content in texts as does the linguistic form of the text. That is, the selection or choice of a linguistic form may not be a live process for the individual speaker, but the discourse will be a reproduction of that previously learned discourse. Texts are selected and organized in syntactic forms whose "content-structure" reflects the ideological organization of a particular area of social life (Dellinger, 19 in Bayram, 27).

Fairclough and Wodak (npn), say discourse is socially constituted and socially shaped, linking a chain of texts, reacting to, drawing in, and transforming other texts. The ideological effects of discursive practices may help produce and reproduce unequal power relations through the representation of actors and events and allow assumptions to go unaddressed as mere common sense. Critical Discourse Analysis (henceforth) CDA, therefore, provides a lens to make visible the opaque aspects of discourse, the power relations and ideology underlying language use. Fowler (62), states that, the “performative power” of language is in its role as a “reality-creating social practice.”  Discourse works to bring into being that which it describes (Fairclough, 2), particularly in relation to groups that share a system of beliefs about reality (Fowler, 63). According to Fairclough (8), texts are elements of social events and are involved in the process of “constituting the social identities of the participants in the events of which they are a part.”  Texts have “causal effects upon, and contribute to changes in, people (beliefs, attitudes, etc.), actions, social relations, and the material world.”  These effects are mediated by meaning-making and play a role in “inculcating and sustaining or changing ideologies” (Fairclough 9). Here, ideologies are taken to mean “representations of aspects of the world which can be shown to contribute to establishing, maintaining and changing social relations of power, domination and exploitation.” (9) Texts are good indicators of social processes, so textual analysis can provide insights into social change. Texts, and particularly media texts, are sites of contestation. They may reflect social control and domination and, therefore, work to reproduce inequity. They may reflect negotiation and resistance as well (Fairclough, 202). Hybridity in texts highlights the potential for texts to include discourses that are reproductive and/or productive, discourses and counter discourses, in the same text. In addition, CDA also requires attentiveness to the potential of discourses and practices of resistance to ultimately contribute to reproductive effects. The relations playing out between voices in public political discourse may take the form of a “conversation” or “dialogue,” in which discourses provoke responses and change over time (Fairclough, 202). In addition to text, the elements of discourse include interactions, the processes of production and interpretation of texts, as well as context, the social conditions of production and interpretation (Fairclough, npn).

CDA seeks to further understand power relations and ideological processes in discourse. It offers a “critical perspective on unequal social arrangements sustained through language use, with the goals of social transformation and emancipation” (Lazar 1).

It should be noted at this juncture that Critical Discourse Analysis is synonymously used with Critical Linguistics (CL). CDA theory derives from different theoretical backgrounds such as Rhetoric, Text linguistics, Anthropology, Philosophy, Socio-Psychology, Cognitive Science, Literary Studies and Sociolinguistics, as well as in Applied Linguistics and Pragmatics (Wodak et. al.1). CDA is complex and challenging while it requires a multidisciplinary, multi methodological approaches by which the obscure relation between speech, social cognition, power, society and culture is revealed, going beyond mere observation, description and explanation (Fairclough in Van Dijk, 5). Due to the vast heterogeneity of theoretical approaches and methodology, the key practitioners of CDA suggest to define it as a “school” or “paradigm” (Wodak et al. 5). Scholars have offered series of definitions out of which are:

CDA sees discourse, language use in speech and writing as a form of social practice. Describing discourse as social practice implies a dialectical relationship between a particular discursive event and the situation(s), institution(s) and social structure(s), which frame it: … The discursive event is shaped by them, but it also shapes them. That is, discourse is socially constitutive as well as socially conditioned. It constitutes situations, objects of knowledge, and the social identities of and relationships between people and groups of people (Fairclough and Wodak, in Wodak et. al. 5).

Also, Fairclough says:

By CDA, I mean discourse analysis which aims to systematically explore often opaque relationships of causality and determine between: (a) discursive practices, events and texts, (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. (132-133)

Therefore, CDA views discourse as a means to structure social life. It scrutinizes visible and opaque structural relationships of dominance, discrimination, power and control that occur in discourse, aiming at the critical exploration of social structuring revealed in the use of language (Wodak 10). Among the various ideologies that CDA tries to unearth, the issue of gender (in)equality is always recurrent as society continues to define and redefine the roles of men and women. This aspect of CDA is Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis (FCDA).

2.2 Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis (FCDA) and Feminist Post Structuralist Discourse Analysis (FPDA)

According to Lazar ( 2), “feminist critical discourse analysis (FCDA), like CDA examines the “complex and subtle ways in which taken-for-granted social assumptions and hegemonic power relations are discursively produced, perpetuated, negotiated and challenged.” FCDA looks carefully at the complex workings of power and ideology in discourse, but focuses particularly on the way these contribute to sustaining a hierarchically gendered social order. Establishing a feminist politics of articulation within CDA is necessary to theorize and analyze the nature of gender in social practices.

The term “gender,” as explained by Lazar (3) functions as an interpretive category that enables social actors to make sense of and structure their social practices. Normatively, people are assigned one of only two commonly accepted genders at birth, resulting in consequences and constraints within concrete social practices. Gender expression is neither materially experienced nor discursively enacted in the same way for women (or men) universally. FCDA requires an acknowledgement of differences among women (and men) and the forms of sexism to which they are differentially subjected as complexly constructed social actors (Lazar, 2-3). Social practices, far from being neutral, are run through with relations of gender, class, race/ethnicity, sexuality, age, (dis)ability, geography, and intersections therein. McCall (1773) addressed the necessity of being mindful of the way people are multiplying position as subjects. Her research engages “provisionally” with “existing analytical categories” as non-static points of understanding, in order to examine changing inequalities among social groups through the complexity of different contexts and social formations. However, Baxter (55) opines that in recent years, a number of doctoral and post-doctoral students have begun to explore and experiment with the use of a new theoretical and methodological approach to gender and language study: that of Feminist Post- Structuralist Discourse Analysis (FPDA). While there is a growing international interest in the FPDA approach, it is still relatively unknown in the wider community of discourse analysis. There is little published work as yet which directly draws on FPDA, but much fascinating work in the pipeline. At the moment, it is just a small fish in the big sea of discourse analysis; its future is far from certain and it may well be swallowed up whole by larger varieties, or choose to swim with the tide of Critical Discourse Analysis, which to some extent it resembles. Of all the leading approaches to discourse analysis in the field, FPDA has most in common with CDA. Yet, FPDA and CDA have quite different theoretical and epistemological orientations. While they share commonalities in theory and methodology, the two approaches arguably have contrasting outlooks on the world and seek divergent outcomes. He later expanded on the background and defined FPDA as: an approach to analyzing and textualizing discourses in spoken interaction and other types of text. It draws upon the poststructuralist principles of complexity, plurality, ambiguity, connection, recognition, diversity, textual playfulness, functionality and transformation. The ‘feminist’ perspective on poststructuralist discourse analysis considers ‘gender differentiation’ to be a dominant discourse among competing discourses when analysing all types of text. It regards gender differentiation as one of the most pervasive discourses across many cultures in terms of its systematic power to discriminate between human beings according to their gender and sexuality. (Baxter 56)

This definition of FPDA developed from the ideas of the formalist, Bakhtin (1981), and the poststructuralists, Derrida (1987) and Foucault (1980), in relation to power, knowledge and discourses. It has also been inspired by the feminist work of Walkerdine (1998), and Weedon (1997), among others. Baxter further illustrated that, theoretically, FPDA has definite connections and parallels with current versions of ‘feminist CDA’. He recognises that CDA is in no way a monolithic construct, but rather a multidisciplinary perspective drawing upon diverse approaches. As far as it is possible to generalise, both FPDA and feminist versions of CDA share a key principle: ‘the discursive construction of subjectivity’. CDA research thus, combines what perhaps somewhat pompously used to be called ‘solidarity with the oppressed’ with an attitude of opposition and dissent against thos

A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF SPEECHES

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Type Project
Department English
Project ID ENG0109
Price ₦3,000 ($9)
Chapters 5 Chapters
No of Pages 65 Pages
Format Microsoft Word

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    Details

    Type Project
    Department English
    Project ID ENG0109
    Price ₦3,000 ($9)
    Chapters 5 Chapters
    No of Pages 65 Pages
    Format Microsoft Word

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