Manipulation as an ideological tool in the political genre of Parliamentary discourses
The present study analyzes the discursive strategies of manipulation in the political genre of a discourse in Parliament with an aim to convince the audience that the Prime Minister and his party are innocent of receiving illegal cash donations from a slush fund run in the party. For that purpose, we have used Van Dijk’s (2006) scheme of strategies of manipulation at several levels of discourse (content, lexis, topics, syntax, rhetoric, and order of discourse). Findings of the study show that the Prime Minister’s speech presents characteristics of ideological discourse, since it follows a general strategy of positive in-group and negative out-group presentation, which has an overall legitimating function. At other levels of discourse, the denial of controversial actions is made manipulative by following strategies of emphasis of our positive and their negative actions with the final aim of self-legitimating himself and his discourse. The discourse is further made manipulative by using appropriate contextual constraints and defensible semantics of representation.
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