International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Identity in Political Discourse: The Case of Kenyan Parliamentary Debates
Dr. Christine Atieno Peter

Speech is manipulated by the speaker to perpetuate ideology and enact various identities. When this is the case, language becomes something more than just a medium for communicating the propositional knowledge. Whereas language is generally intended to be communicative, it has, sometimes done more than that due to manipulations. This paper examines the use of language by Kenyan members of parliament during debates to perpetuate socio- political dominance. The objective was: to discuss the socio- political identities enacted in Kenyan parliamentary debates. Descriptive research design was used. The study purposively sampled texts from the Hansard which portrayed aspects of identity creation. Data was collected using a guiding card and analysed using Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (FDA) theory which investigates how the society is moulded by the various power relationships reflected through language. The study identified language that created dominance and it also examined identity creation. The socio- political identities enacted during debates in parliament are presented. Finally, it was established that positioning, categorisation and indexicality were approaches used by parliamentarians to create identities. The findings will contribute to Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics and theories in linguistics. It will also add to knowledge in terms of characteristics of language used in parliamentary debates, and the role of language in creation of social political dominance.

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