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Discursive Functioning of Parts of Speech in Political Parties' Manifestos in Pakistani Election 2013.

Byline: Mehwish Malghani and Sumaira Shafiq


Parts of speech are the essential syntactic elements of a language. They not only form sentences, text and discourses but also carry connotative discursive implications that aid in the complete understanding of a discourse. These parts of speech build a relation between language and the outside world, for instance, politics in this particular study. Language is intrinsically political and the relationship between the two is that of interdependence, for politics is manifested and demonstrated through language.1 The struggle for power that defines politics is based on forwarding certain ideas and putting those to practice through the appropriate use of language. In terms of power politics language acts as a tool that legitimizes various kinds of controls to achieve the desired social and political ends. Politicians around the world, use this persuasive tool being referred to, for disseminating the desired ideologies skillfully.

Therefore, politics and language are interlinked and interdependent. This interconnectedness and interdependence of language and politics opens avenues and creates room for research in the fields of linguistics and political science. Some political activities cannot exist without the use of language; a prime example of these is the political manifestos by political parties, under analysis in this paper.2 Political discourses target the group perception to affect the group behaviors in a preferred way. The language used by politicians plays a vital role in gaining power and dominance and changing people's mindset. The goal is to make people agree upon the shared ideologies forwarded by the political leaders resulting in the gaining of people's support in the form of votes during elections. Political ideologies as a system of political beliefs need propagation.

Ideologies involve communication of ideas and, therefore, language plays a central role in constructing and maintaining them. Politicians often socially reconstruct reality on the basis of professional and personal ideologies. Their political messages carry powerful but coded meanings and messages and these messages reinforce individual beliefs and behaviors and collective ideologies, which inevitably affect the formation of public policies and organizational practices. These coded meanings and messages, can be evaluated through analyzing language. One of the best ways of doing so is Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The present study has explored the role of parts of speech in the language of political manifestos, which are ideological documents of political parties. Manifestos of five Pakistani political parties for the election year 2013 have been selected for the purpose.

The critical discourse analysis of these documents is aimed at uncovering the opaque ideologies in the language of these manifestos that are constructed through the use of parts of speech specially nouns, pronouns and verbs.

Statement of the problem

There is a deep relation between political language and perceptions. Political discourse is an essential tool for establishing desired cognitive effects on individual or group behaviors by influencing the perceptions of the people. The language used by politicians plays a vital role in gaining power and dominance and changing people's mindset. The area needs to be explored especially in the Pakistani political context, as it is significant to uncover the linguistic devices used within the discourse structures through which cognition and discourse get their meanings and functions. The present research area, political discourse analysis (PDA) is not only about political discourse but also a critical endeavor.

In the light of the modern approaches in the CDA this employs that critical-political discourse analysis focuses on the reproduction of political power, the abuse or domination of power through political discourse that includes the different varieties of resistance against these forms of discursive dominance. In particular, this type of analysis deals with political dominance that leads to social and political inequality and its consequences. Although a great number of studies have been conducted on the Pakistani political discourse yet somewhat little attention has been paid to the discourse of party manifestos. The public consensus in voting a particular political party is based on the party's ideology presented in the party's manifesto.

This research will contribute to the body of knowledge by answering the following: how discursive strategies are used in the political discourse; what goals they achieve; and in what ways political identities and ideologies are (re)constructed through discursive strategies in political discourse.

Objective of research

1. To investigate the role played by the use of parts of speech in the (re)construction of political identities and ideologies through political party manifestos.

Research question

What is the role played by the use of parts of speech in political party manifestos in (re)constructing political identities and ideologies?

Significance of research

The present study explores the role of the use of parts of speech in the (re)construction of ideologies and political identities. Drawing on theories of Critical Discourse Analysis and psychology this research uncovers the ways in which discursive strategies influence political identities and ideologies. This research-design gives a better understanding of the genre under study, in the hope of adding a body of literature to the relevant multiple disciplines. Focusing on the party manifestos for the election year 2013, this study draws from varied yet complementary theories to investigate the political discourse in party manifestos.


The text for the study comprises the political discourse of official manifestos 2013 of five selected major political parties of Pakistan, namely Pakistan Muslim League (N), Pakistan Tahreek-e Insaf, Pakistan People's Party, Pakistan Muslim League (Q), and Muttahida Qaumi Movement. These parties were selected on the basis of their popularity in Pakistan. The criteria of selection were based on mean and of IRI (International Republican Institute) surveys conducted in August 2012, and in November 2012 regarding the popularity of Pakistani political parties.


a. Research paradigm

The present research is a corpus based descriptive quantitative study of political party manifestos, for which ANTCONC 3.4.4 has been used.

b. Theoretical framework

The study is based on theoretical triangulation drawing theories from CDA i.e., Van Dijk's Socio Cognitive Model (1998) and Tajfel's and Turner's (1979) Theory of Social Psychology (Theory of Social Identity tradition/approach), in order to meet the requirements of the present research.

Literature Review

A. Political discourse

Analyzing political discourse is barely a new concept.3 The western, Greco-Roman and European writers have used this concept under the umbrella of rhetoric. The Frankfurt School and advocates of critical theory were among the most eminent to connect language and politics. Some scholars4 in the field of humanities also came up with the same idea in the form of Critical Linguistics. Under this perspective, language was not investigated as a mental process but as a social phenomenon. This perspective was used to fight injustice in society. In 1980s, the revolution of generative linguistics led to a cognitive revolution which brought into consideration studies on themes of social and political cognition. Presently much attention is paid to the domain of politics and language.5 The purpose of politics is to reconcile the differences by means of discussion and persuasion. Therefore, communication is the key point in politics.6

The process of politics characteristically involves the techniques of persuasion and bargaining.7 This gives the justification of how discourse can help gaining legitimacy, authority and consensus. Language and politics are intimately linked at a fundamental level. Political associations can be defined as shared acuities of values. The phenomenon of politics does not exist without language use. Instead of using force in the war fields, political leaders use discourse as a tool to protect, attack and legitimise their power over others. Political wars are today won through the use of discursive strategies. The political discourse has a manipulative nature.8 Political discourse can be differentiated from the other forms of discourse on the basis of its context, situations, roles of participants, their intent and strategies. In order to achieve ideological and political goals, the politicians utilize discursive strategies.

These discursive strategies include the exploitation of the duality of the in-group and the out-group.9 The social convictions have power over what people do and speak. Therefore, the common goal of manipulative discourse is to control the shared social representations of the set of people in several conditions and over a longer period of time.10 The notion of hegemony is generally based on attaining power through consent rather through the use of force. It explains the means by which dominant classes attain power by achieving social consensus. According to the concept of hegemony the ruling class is able to achieve its position by developing consent by means of the intricate production of political projects and social association. Power in today's world is no more enacted through force; rather the dominance and control is executed by the politicians through the cognitive and linguistic domains. The masses are persuaded and manipulated by transforming their opinions through discourse.

There is a strong link between ideology, discourse and hegemony. Political leaders use manipulative language in order to achieve their ideological objectives. This manipulation of linguistic meanings and structures help them sound powerful, dominant and justified. Politicians influence large groups of people by using discursive strategies allowing people to believe the reality created by them through their manipulative discourse.11 The aim of the complex form of hegemony is to deal with matters such as the expansion of political projects, the articulation of concerns and the development of social agreement.12 Reshaping the reality involves transformation of the facts in order to achieve the political goals and targets.13

B. Social Cognitive Theory

Fundamentally, the concept of 'Social Cognition' comprises a number of societal dimensions such as, psychology, culture, custom, norms and traditional values. The notion of social cognition is an appropriate channel for the mental and intellectual representation. It represents various activities that go by the social context. The social cognitive of a community has the advantage to showcase social identity, social categorization and intergroup kinships. Van Dijk gives an explicit account of the complex nature of the prevailing societal domains. He14 says that the most perplexing ideas of a society are discourse, ideology and social context. One must present an elusive and applicable account. Mental representation, social cognition, social belief and action need rationalization to enable the comprehension of the social phenomenon.

Accessibility of such complexities is possible only if the investigation takes place in directed social situations. Context has an integral worth in the study of social cognitive aspects.

C. Social Identity Theory and Self Categorization Theory

According to the social identity and self-categorization theories, individuals can develop two fundamental statuses: a person-self, which envelops unique distinctive information about themselves, and a collective self, which envelops information about the group to which they associate themselves.15 In particular, this collective self, or social identity leads to information such as the stretch to which individual feels devoted or attached to a precise group as well as the relations and characteristics of this group is dependent on other social categories. The social identity theory evolved from Tajfel's work on intergroup operations which targeted the formation of clash between social groups, and the circumstances which control, support or try to change, established social hierarchies. A few conditions of this approach served as the basis for Turner's 'Self-Categorization Theory', which studies and investigates about group behavior in broader aspect.

Because the two theories share the same major beliefs, they are often placed under the broad table of 'The Social Identity Approach' or 'The Social Identity Tradition'. Tajfel's16 model which underlined how intergroup clashes could be embedded in worry over collective identity as well as clashes over material resources, was chiefly suitable to the new social movements, that appeared during the 1960's and 1970's. The social psychologists later on applied the social identity theory to the women's movement17 as well as ethno-linguistic minority groups' movements.18 Later, the social identity theory came to be popularly adopted as a general meta-theoretical-aspect by the social psychologists.19

However, the past ten years have witnessed a revival of interest in the ways in which the social identity theory and the self-categorization theory might upgrade social psychological understanding of a range of formal and informal political behavior, like party identification,20 political unification and connection,21 leadership22 political oratory,23 politicalparticipation and activism,24 alienation,25 national discrimination,26 conspiracy theorizing27 and extremism.28

Tajfel29 basically explained social identity as 'that part of an individual's self-concept which is extracted from his knowledge of his membership in a social group (or groups) along with the value and emotional implications attached to that membership. Indeed, one principle belief that constructs the social identity theory is that groups and not individuals are the main backbone of both social clash and social adjustment.30 The social identity theory came up with an encouraging factor to intergroup behavior by implying that people are generally concerned to maintain, or to accomplish, a positive sense of self, and that when they identify with social groups, this reveals itself in a need to recognize the groups to which they belonged positively.31

The social identity theory recommended that people behave in term of their social identity whenever they look themselves and others in reference of group membership rather than as particular individuals. This identity-related-phenomenon comes into action when people arrange themselves and others as group members. The self-categorization theory elaborates the nature of this precedent and ramification of this psychological process called self-categorization. The self-categorization theory marks the basic difference between personal and social identity, as various levels of self-categorization. It shows how the appearing properties of group processes can be described in terms of a transformation in self-perception from personal to social identity. It also exemplifies how self-categorization is naturally variable, flowing and context dependent. The self-categorization theory focuses on the relationship between the self and the group.32

Data Analysis

Corpus based methodology is used for the critical discourse analysis of five political parties' manifestos for the election year 2013. Frequencies of parts of speech (pronouns, singular nouns, plural nouns and modal verbs) were extracted and concordance lines were studied by using ANTCONC 3.4.1. Data interpretation is based upon the linguistic features of the political discourse in the manifestos.

a. Pronouns

Table 1: Frequencies of Pronouns








Pronouns play an important role in framing cognitions. The type of pronouns selected in the discourse signifies the underlying ideology of the speaker. The types of pronouns used can marginalize individuals or groups as outsiders. They may help in positioning people as members of an in-group or out-group. The present study has specifically focused on inclusive and exclusive pronouns. The pronouns used by the parties have served a manipulative role linguistically, psychologically and politically. The pronouns-we, us and our-represent the party and/or the nation and/or the public. Whereas, the pronouns-they, them and their-are inconsistent in nature, each altering its referent according to the context. At times the pronouns, 'they, their, and them' are used for in-group people, by referring to them as marginalized, and projecting party's will to rescue them from the situation. For example:

Further the PML government in full respect of federating units and particularly mindful of the complex Balochistan situation prepared a special Report with the stakeholders and was accepted by them for bringing peace to the troubled province. (PMLQ, p.2)

At other places, these pronouns are a tool of ideological square used by the party to develop the 'Us vs. Them' dichotomy in order to highlight the differences of the people the party wishes to comprise the in-group and the other parties. For example:

Unfortunately, Pakistan has not so far been able to evolve a viable and sustainable system of local governments because during each period of military rule, military dictators introduced a new system of local bodies to serve their own political agenda. (PMLN, p.48)33

We faced down deep divisions and hazards five years ago, when a terrorist bullet martyred Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. As we shepherd Pakistan into its first constitutional transfer of power through elections, we resolve today that we will continue to make history by using a new elected term in office to take Pakistan into a future based on social justice, peace and prosperity for all. (PPPP, p.2)

In these lines, 'we' is used by the party to picture positive self-representation in front of the common masses. It is evident that through the use of this pronoun, the party claims that they prioritize people's needs. Moreover, it creates a strong impact on the public because 'we' symbolize the party and public altogether, and through this discursive strategy a positive ideology of people towards party is constructed. PPP also tries to highlight its positive aspects by strengthening them through pronouns so that it can get more popularity with people.

And Tehreek-e Insaf said: 'We look to the future with hope and confidence as we set Pakistan on a course to political stability, social harmony, and economic prosperity for all.' (PTI, p.2). And 'We collectively mobilize our human and material resources to forge ahead on the road to a confident and self-reliant nation.' (PTI, p.2) The emphasis on the use of 'we' in the following sentences indicates that the party aims to attain popularity among public by transforming their traditional ideologies and beliefs towards them. Through the use of pronoun 'we', the party attempts to persuade the public to be with them and to in-group them as much as possible so that they can be able to achieve hegemony.

MQM strongly supports such initiatives and encourages the youth of our nation to utilize e-commerce and IT to enable our country to remain on the progressive path. This is the time to be at the forefront of technology to keep ahead the complexities and empower our societies with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES). (MQM, p.25)

Here the use of 'our' indicates that the party is addressing them and the public together to transform the identity of the public. The main motive is to create an emotional relationship with the people so that they can implement their laws and rules over them. This is a good way to win the confidence of common masses and to deliberately achieve hegemony. Thus the pronouns are serving a manipulative role in framing people's ideology and political identities at three levels: using pronouns to; (a) in-group people by highlighting similar interests; (b) by projecting them as marginalized and presenting a plan to rescue them; and, (c) using pronouns to exclude the other parties and highlighting their differences with the public. Thus 'they, them and their' are used in positive connotation for the marginalized public, whereas, it is used in negative connotation for the other parties.

Through the analysis of data, it is depicted that pronouns such as: we, us, our, them, their, they, etc., are used as a crucial rhetorical tool in the political discourse of parties to achieve hegemony, to construct an optimistic identity of parties, and to transform ideologies as it signifies the underlying agenda of the parties to gain strength and dominance over the people.

b. Singular nouns

Table 2: Frequencies of Singular Nouns Regarding Key Concerns












The singular nouns used by the parties to project their agenda and key areas of concern, also project what is the extent of importance given to a certain domain/area/group by a certain party. For example, it is evident from Table 2, that PPPP has given significant emphasis to health by using it in highest frequency i.e., 108 times. Yet another example is the use of the singular noun 'policy' by all the political parties. The use of this singular noun by all the parties is to either refer to the already existing policies presented by the other parties in order to highlight their weaknesses or to refer to party's own polices in positive connotation that may serve as a source of hope for the public. In addition, it is also evident from the study of concordance lines that 'foreign policy' is many a time referred to by all the political parties. Yet another key noun used by all parties is 'growth'.

This noun is also used as a manipulative tool as it frames the cognition of the general public by developing hope and aspiration regarding different areas that the parties have targeted to influence in 'in-grouping' people. Similarly, there is ample use of the noun 'democracy' by almost all parties, in general, whereas PPPP in particular, has used this noun to project itself as a strong advocate and practitioner of democracy. Thus parties have used nouns to establish cognitive link between the public and themselves by making some areas salient and by framing and positioning the party in a manner that will influence people in the (re)construction of political identities and political ideologies.

c. Plural nouns

Table 3: Frequencies of Plural Nouns Regarding Key Areas of Interest










Like singular nouns, the plural nouns also project the key areas of interest of the parties. The use of these nouns also focuses on the groups that the party intends to in-group directly, for example farmers and women. These nouns also indirectly target people by projecting party's interest in the matters that are of serious concern for the people. For example 'rights' of all sorts have direct link with people and by evaluating the importance given to the rights by a particular party, people will automatically in-group and identify themselves with that party. Yet another example is the frequent use of the nouns 'efforts' and 'measures', which helps in framing the political cognition of the people by projecting that the party has the political will to put in efforts and take measures for improving the social political conditions of the nation.

d. Modal Verbs

Table 4: Frequencies of Modal Verbs








Modal verbs are used as discursive tools in political discourse of the party manifestos in order to project political will, commitment, pledge, promise, conviction and possibility. The modal verbs under study are used by the political parties to project a positive 'self' image and a negative 'other' image. Mostly 'will, shall and can' are used in positive connotation regarding party's image by showing party's commitment, political will, party's pledge and conviction over political matters. Whereas 'could, should and would' are used to refer to other parties' to project their lack of political commitment and will over different political matters. For example:

In the lines below through the strategy of imposition, it is projected that no other government has taken any serious steps to address the grave issue of corruption; the PML (Q) will deal with this issue by taking action against those who are involved in this activity. This strategy will help the party win in-group members and people will transform their ideology in favor of this party and the negative image of the other parties is constructed through cognitively influencing the people.

PML commits to combating corruption which has spread like cancer in our society and will punish those who loot and plunder.

In the following lines, by the use of 'should' it is projected that the government lacked the ability to deal with militancy and terrorism through a proper plan of action which requires the inclusion of social, economic, political and administrative measures. Here by the use of 'should' party's vision is also highlighted which will ultimately create a positive image of the party and people will identify themselves with this party.

Militancy and terrorism is a problem that has penetrated deep into the vitals of society and therefore needs a well-thought out, comprehensive and sustainable plan of action that should include economic, social, administrative and political initiatives and measures to root out this menace. (p.85)

In the following lines the party talks about the diplomatic process that the party started to make Pakistan economically advanced. Here, it is presupposed that Pakistan can still not be considered as a responsible nation, playing a responsible role as an economically advanced nation of the world, because no other political party has paid any attention to initiate the democratic process, and this aim can be achieved with the sincere efforts of the PPPP.

We will intensify the diplomatic outreach we began so that Pakistan can engage with the World as a responsible nation state and global player in trade and economic advancement as a strategic priority for the future. (p.6)

In the lines below it is presupposed by using the modal verb 'should' that our nation has still not achieved political consensus and this party is of the view that this process must begin without any delay.

The process of developing a political consensus on this issue should be started without delay. (p.22)

The modal verb 'can' is used by the party to point out potential or capability related to material or human resources that are not used at the fullest by others. For example, in the following lines, by pointing to the HR discrepancies, a negative image of other parties is created and the self-image is enhanced by referring to what can be obtained by dealing with these discrepancies properly. This would have a cognitive effect on the people that the other parties are incapable of utilizing the resources whereas this party has the vision to make proper utilization of these resources.

Targeting HR discrepancies through initiatives that are commonly viable, with the right incentives, and that can generate income for the sector. (p.6)

It is evident from Table 4, and examples that amongst the modal verbs under study 'will' is used most frequently by all parties. Mostly the modal verb 'will' is used by the party to picture a negative image of the other party or to project a positive self-image. In addition, the strategy of presupposition is also brought into use by the addition of modal verbs. This strategy helped the party to influence people cognitively by creating its own positive self-image or a negative image of the other party.

The modal verb 'should' is mostly used to project the negative image of the other parties by highlighting their weaknesses through presupposition. The addition of the modal verb 'can' is used by the political parties mostly to project the party's ability regarding a certain matter. Thus the parties have used the discursive strategy of modalities to show their political will and ability to deal with different political and ideological matters related to the interest of public. In addition, through the addition of modalities such as 'should' the negative image of the other parties is projected by pointing the other party's failure or inability to achieve something in the interest of the public, which it should have done.

Thus modalities are used to enhance the effect of imposition and presuppositions related to creating positive self-image and negative 'other' image in order to in-group people by transforming their ideologies in favor of the party. Moreover, hegemony is also achieved by projecting the party's abilities and political will to resolve issues related to the public.

Findings and discussion

The aim of the study was to explore the role of discursive strategies of party manifestos in (re)constructing political ideologies and political identity through the political discourse. These are discussed under three subheads in the following.

a. Modalities

Modalities modify political propositions. The political parties under study have added modalities to change the way the political events and the world is are represented. The present research focused on three modal verbs only-will, can and should. It was found out that the world representation is altered or certain ideologies are enhanced by their addition in the political discourse. Mostly the modal verb 'will' is used by the party to picture a negative image of the other party or to project a positive self-image. Furthermore, the strategy of presupposition is also brought into use by the addition of modal verbs. This strategy helped the party to influence people cognitively by creating a positive self-image or a negative image of the other party.

The modal verb 'should' is mostly used to project the negative image of the other parties by highlighting their weaknesses through presupposition. The addition of the modal verb 'can' is used by the political parties mostly to project the party's ability regarding a certain matter. Thus the parties have used the discursive strategy of modalities to show their political will and ability to deal with different political and ideological matters related to the interest of the public. Moreover, through the addition of modalities such as 'should' the negative image of the other parties is projected by pointing out the other party's failure or its inability of doing something in the interest of the public, which it should have done. Thus modalities are used to enhance the effect of imposition and presuppositions related to creating positive self-image and negative other image in order to in-group people by transforming their ideologies in favor of the party.

In addition, hegemony is also achieved by projecting party's abilities and political will to resolve issues related to the public. The findings of the present study regarding the use of modalities are also confirmed by Helvaci (2010) who traced out how identity and ideology reconstruct and reshape the reality by concluding, that the ideological patterns are revealed in the political discourses and discursive strategies are used to portray positive self-image and negative other image and the linguistic choices are manipulated by the political actors in order to bring about the desired political effect. The choice of modal verbs used in the political discourse is also an example of the linguistic choice opted by the political parties in the manifestos of Pakistani political parties, that in case of the present research, served the purpose of transforming ideologies, constructing identities and achieving hegemony.

b. Use of singular and plural nouns

Political parties use singular nouns in order to plan their agenda and main areas of concern. The use of these nouns also projects the level of importance given by a certain party to a certain domain/area/group. Almost all parties make use of singular noun either to denote the prevailing policies presented by the contemporary parties so as to highlight their drawbacks, or to refer to parties' own political polices in positive ways, which may serve as a sign of hope for the people. The study, additionally, reflects that all the political parties referred to 'foreign policy' many a time. It is seen that noun 'growth' is yet another noun used by these parties. They use this term as a manipulative device because it surrounds public cognition by boasting hope and objectives regarding various areas focused by parties to influence the people.

In the same way, the noun 'democracy' has repeatedly been used by almost all parties, in general, and PPPP in special, with the intention to present itself as a resilient supporter and practitioner of democracy. Hence, political organizations have used certain nouns to create a bridge between the masses and themselves by making some areas salient and by framing and positioning the party in a way that will influence the public in the (re)construction of political identities and political ideologies. Akin to plural nouns, singular nouns also project parties' areas of interest. Through the use of these nouns the parties also focus on the groups the party plans to in-group directly, for instance women and farmers. In the same way, parties' interests concerning serious matter for the people are also projected through these nouns.

For instance 'rights' of all kinds are directly linked with public and by assessing the value which a particular party gives, people will definitely in-group and recognize themselves with that party. The use of nouns such as 'efforts' and 'measures' help in framing the political public cognition by projecting that the political party will labor for improving the socio-political condition of the nation.

c. Use of pronouns

The current study disclosed that pronouns are used in the political discourse of parties to attain support of the people by transforming their ideology in party's favor and ultimately achieving hegemony over the people. Almost all the parties have decorated their discourse with pronouns to strengthen the image of the party in front of the common masses so that they can support them. The suitable use of pronouns signifies the underlying ideology of the speaker. The pronouns inscribed also serve to construct new identities like 'we, us, our', are used for addressing people which shows that the party consider them as their own part. Moreover, these are also used in the discourse to transform the negative ideology, which people usually possess about the political parties, into a positive one. The pronouns are used to categorize people as the members of the in-group or out-group.

In line with the theoretical framework presented by van Dijk (1998),34 the pronouns are used to represent the dichotomy between the in-group and out-group. The analysis confirmed the four fundamental principles presented by van Dijk (1998)35 with reference to the use of pronouns that pronouns are used to emphasize positive aspects of the party and negative aspects of others. Also, they are used to de-emphasize negative aspects of the party and positive aspects of others. The pronouns are used to picture positive self-representation and negative other-representation. Through the analysis of data, it is depicted that pronouns such as we, us, our, them, their, they, who, it, etc., are used as crucial rhetorical tools in the political discourse of parties to achieve hegemony, to construct an optimistic identity of parties, and to transform ideologies as these signify the underlying agenda of the parties to gain strength and dominance over the people/public.

All of the mentioned words classes were analyzed with specific reference to their roles in framing people's perception of different identities and ideologies, and shaping their cognition in a specific way. The forms of pronouns including we, us, our, they, them, their, model verbs like can, could, will, would, shall, should, along with the use of singular and plural nouns, revealed the tactics preferred by political leaders while shaping their political discourses. An in-depth analysis of all of the syntactic constituents explicated the function of discursive practices in the development of sociopolitical identities of political bodies, exerting a commanding and hegemonic role in the life of a nation.


The present study dealt with an extensive analysis of the party manifestos of Pakistani political parties. The data was analyzed on the bases of Van Dijk Socio Cognitive Model (1998) along with Psychological theory of self-identification by Turner and Tajfel (1979). After the analysis of the data it was concluded that all the political parties under study, brought into use different parts of speech in their party manifestos, in order to create a positive self-image and the negative other-image on the bases of ideological representation of the political events and facts. In addition, it was also concluded on the bases of the findings that political parties are well aware of the socio psychological factors involved in in-grouping of the people. Therefore, the discursive strategies were used by all political parties that focused on strategies of enhancing the self-image of the group members.

Thus it is concluded that the political parties used the discursive strategies in order to have a cognitive influence on the general public to transform people's ideologies, construct identities and achieve hegemony. This aim is achieved by the ideological representation of the political events and facts in a way that similarities between the political party and the public are exaggerated and differences between the people and the other party are highlighted. In addition, events, situations, circumstances and facts are highlighted by political party in such a way that the general public identifies that party as their own.

1. Fatih Bayram, 'Ideology and Political Discourse: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Erdogan's Political Speech', ARECLS, 2010, Vol.7, 23-40.

2. Ibid.

3. Paul Chilton, Analysing Political Discourse: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2004).

4. Roger Fowler, Robert Hodge, Gunther Kress, and Tony Trew, Language and Control (London: Routlede and Kegan Paul, 1979); Robert Hodge and Gunther Kress, Language as Ideology (London: Routledge, 1993), Roger Fowler, Linguistic Criticism (OPUS), (Oxford University Press, 1996).

5. Paul Chilton, 2004.

6. Seth Hague, John Street, and Heather Savigny, 'The Voice of the People? Musicians as Political Actors', Cultural Politics, 4:1 (2008), 5-24.

7. Thomas Miller, 'Visual Persuasion: A Comparison of Visuals in Academic Texts and the Popular Press', English for Specific Purposes, 17:1 (1998), 29-46.

8. George Orwell, Politics and the English Language (Penguin, UK, 2013).

9. Koca Helvaci, Zeynep Cihan, 'Spears and Shields of Discourse in the Political Battlefield: Israeli and Turkish Accounts of the Gaza Flotilla Raid', Applied Semiotics/Semiotique applique, 25 (2010).

10. Chomsky, Noam, Hegemony and Survival, America's Quest for Global Dominance (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2003), Audio Renaissance audiobook, from thei_ntroc_lucti_on {cad by the author) 2004.

11. Koca Helvaci, Zeynep Cihan, 2010.

12. Jonathan Joseph, 'Five Ways in which Critical Realism can Help Marxism', Critical Realism and Marxism (2002), 23-42.

13. Theo Van Leeuwen, and Ruth Wodak, 'Legitimizing Immigration Control: A Discourse-Historical Analysis', Discourse Studies, 1:1 (1999), 83-118.

14. Teun A. Van Dijk, Ideology: An Interdisciplinary Approach (London: Sage, 1998).

15. Henri Tajfel, 'Interindividual Behaviour and Intergroup behaviour', in Differentiation between Social Groups: Studies in the Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations (London: Academic Press (for) European Association of Experimental Social Psychology, 1978), 27-60.

16. Henri Tajfel, 'Social identity and intergroup behaviour', Social Science Information (International Social Science Council) 13:2, 1974: 65-93; Henri Tajfel, 'Inter individual behaviour and intergroup behavior,..'; Henri Tajfel (ed.), Differentiation between Social Groups: Studies in the Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations, (London/New York: European Association of Experimental Social Psychology and Academic Press, 1978); Henri Tajfel and John C. Turner, 'An Integrative Theory of Intergroup Conflict', in W. G. Austin and S. Worchel (eds.), The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations (Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole, 1979), 33-37.

17. Jennifer E. Williams and Howard Giles, 'The Changing Status of Women in Society: An Intergroup Perspective', in Henri Tajfel (ed.), Differentiation between Social Groups (London: Academic Press, 1978), 431-446.

18. Howard Giles (compil.), Language, Ethnicity and Intergroup Relations. Responsibility, No.13 (London; New York: Academic Press, 1977).

19. Dominic Abrams and Michael A. Hogg, 'Metatheory: Lessons from Social Identity Research.' Personality and Social Psychology Review, 8:2 (2004), 98-106.

20. Steven Greene, 'Social Identity Theory and Party Identification', Social Science Quarterly, 85:1 (2004), 136-53.

21. Emina SubaA!ic, Katherine J. Reynolds, and John C. Turner, 'The Political Solidarity Model of Social Change: Dynamics of Self-categorization in Intergroup Power Relations', Personality and Social Psychology Review, 12:4 (2008), 330-52.

22. Alexander Haslam, Stephen D. Reicher, and Micheal J. Platow, The New Psychology of Leadership: Identity, Influence and Power (New York: Psychology Press, 2010); Michael A. Hogg, 'A Social Identity Theory of Leadership', Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5:3 (2001), 184-200.

23. Nick Hopkins and Steve Reicher, 'The Construction of Social Categories and Processes of Social Change: Arguing about National Identities, in Glynis Marie Breakwell and Evanthis Lyons (eds.), Changing European Identities: Social Psychological Analyses of Social Change (New York: Psychology Press, 1996), 69-93; Stephen Reicher and Nicolas Hopkins, 'Self-category Constructions in Political Rhetoric: An Analysis of Thatcher's and Kinnock's Speeches Concerning the British Miners' Strike (1984-5), European Journal of Social Psychology, 26:3 (1996), 353-71; Stephen Reicher and Nick Hopkins, 'Psychology and the End of History: A Critique and a Proposal for the Psychology of Social Categorization', Political Psychology, 22:2 (2001), 383-407.

24. John Drury, '11 Collective Resilience in Mass Emergencies and Disasters', The Social Cure: Identity, Health and Well-being (2012), 195; Orla T. Muldoon, and Robert D. Lowe, 'Social Identity, Groups, and post-traumatic stress disorder', Political Psychology, 33:2 (2012), 259-73.

25. Sani Fabio and Annarita Celeste Pugliese, 'In the Name of Mussolini: Explaining the Schism in an Italian Right-wing Political Party, Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 12:3 (2008), 242-53.

26. Denis Sindic, and Stephen D. Reicher, 'Our Way of Life is Worth Defending': Testing a Model of Attitudes towards Superordinate Group Membership through a Study of Scots' Attitudes towards Britain', European Journal of Social Psychology, 39:1(2009), 114-29.

27. Antonis Sapountzis, and Susan Condor, 'Conspiracy Accounts as Intergroup Teories: Challenging Dominant Understandings of Social Power and Political Legitimacy', Political Psychology, 34:5 (2013), 731-52.

28. Hogg, 2012); Baray, Gamze, Tom Postmes, and Jolanda Jetten, 'When I Equals We: Exploring the Relation between Social and Personal Identity of Extreme Right-wing Political Party Members, 'British Journal of Social Psychology, 48:4 (2009), 625-47.

29. Henri Tajfel, Differentiation between Social Groups: Studies in the Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations (Academic Press: 1978b).

30. Stephen Reicher, Russell Spears, and S. Alexander Haslam, 'The Social Identity Approach in Social Psychology, Sage Identities Handbook (2010), 45-62

31. Henri Tajfel, and John C. Turner, 'An Integrative Theory of Intergroup Conflict, The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations (1979), 33-37.

32. John C. Turner, Michael A. Hogg, Penelope J. Oakes, Stephen D. Reicher, and Margaret S. Wetherell, Rediscovering the Social Group: A Self-Categorization Theory (New York: Basil Blackwell, 1987).

33. All manifestos (2013) are taken from the official website of Election Commission of Pakistan. The selected texts were all in English language.

34. Van Dijk, Teun A., Ideology: An Interdisciplinary Approach (1998).

35. Ibid.
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Publication:Pakistan Perspectives
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 30, 2019
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