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|Title:||Interpretations and Implications of Political Discourse: The Kenyan Experience|
|Keywords:||Political Discourse -- Kenyan Experience|
|Abstract:||Politicians have a lot of inﬂuence on the society and many of their supporters believe in what they say. Thus, they use the communicative value of language to effectively convey their messages. The ways in which the stylistic features in political discourse constitute ambiguities that lead to multiple interpretations have not been described. These multiple interpretations may have social implications that could enhance or destroy social and political relations. The objectives of the study were to identify and describe the features in political discourse that lead to multiple interpretations. The study sought to ﬁnd out the social processes that underlie the production and interpretation of politician’s utterances and to establish their social implications. The study was guided by the Critical Discourse Analysis theory (CDA)_ which provided a framework for the analysis of the social processes that underlay utterances made by politicians. The study also borrowed some concepts of meaning from the Gricean pragmatics theory. Twenty utterances made by politicians were purposively selected from utterances made in the electronic media between January and April Z005. Then, 56 respondents to react to the utterances were selected from various categories of members of the public from Nairobi. The utterances and the respondents‘ reactions constituted the data, which was collected by use of tape recorders and interviews. The data collected was transcribed, translated, analyzed and interpreted using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The study established that the stylistic features in political discourse had ambiguities that led to numerous interpretations. The utterances were also found to perform social actions such as gender discrimination and reveal struggles over power. The ﬁndings of the study will contribute to the ﬁeld of Applied Linguistics. They illustrate how the cooperative principles of Gricean Pragmatics and Critical Discourse Analysis principles can be used in the interpretation of political discourse. The study may beneﬁt politicians in Kenya and civic educators because it reveals the social and political implications of politicians’ utterances. Hopefully, the general members of the public of Kenya will beneﬁt by understanding the social processes that underlie the production and interpretation of political discourse, hence avoid ‘misinterpretation’.|
|Appears in Collections:||Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences|
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