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Persuasion and Mind Control in Leadership Discourse: A Socio-Cognitive Approach towards Selected Political Speeches

Farzana Masroor, Sidra Shaikh, Safa Marwa, Saman Afzaal
Journal of Communication and Cultural Trends , Volume 2, pp 2-19; doi:10.32350/jcct.22.01

Abstract: Political leaders frequently engage with masses to fulfil their political agenda. For this purpose, language serves as a vital tool in the hands of politicians and that is mostly noticeable in political speeches made on various public forums. Taking into account the significance of such speeches for moving the masses in their favour, the present study carries out a critical discourse analysis of politician and current Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speeches for uncovering the strategies adopted for such purposes. The researchers have chosen three speeches of the politician from three different eras, such as the protest era, pre-election era, and the post-election era. These eras have been categorized following stratified sampling technique. The lens of critical discourse analysis has been applied to the speeches using van Dijk’s (1993) socio-cognitive approach. The analysis focuses on the use of strategies such as mind control, rhetoric art, argumentative move, emotional attachment and historical distortion. The results have attributed Imran Khan’s rise to the position of Prime Minister to his strategic and manipulative political discourse in his speeches. His primary focus remained on controlling the mind of the youth which has been achieved through the use of above-mentioned strategies in multiple ways. This research is significant as it creates awareness as well as consciousness in the public regarding rhetorical strategies adopted by political leaders such as Imran Khan to exercise mind control and mould public opinion in their favour.
Keywords: public / discourse / era / mind / Khan / politician / Political Speeches / Imran

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