American Political Discourse as Manifested in Hillary Clinton's Interviews: A Critical Approach

Doha Mahmoud Abdel-Moety


The present study is concerned with American political discourse of interview genre. The study attempts an analysis of a number of TV interviews with the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It adopts a critical discourse analysis approach that draws on work from different disciplines, namely, genre theory, systemic functional grammar, and critical discourse analysis. The study aims at achieving a number of goals. First, it attempts to explore some characteristics of American interview genre. Second, it aims at depicting features of Clinton's political discourse. Third, it tries to unravel the use of power through language. Fourth, it aims at exploring the hidden strategies that are involved in conveying ideological messages. Results of the study indicated that American interview genre as exemplified in Clinton's interviews incorporates some characteristics of casual conversations such as the use of fillers, informal or casual style, humor, vocatives, grammatical incompletion, ellipsis, and deixis. They also showed that Clinton's discourse has certain specific features. These features include the use of long, compound and complex sentences, the strategic and manipulative use of personal pronouns and modality features, and the use of combination of elements of political discourse with ordinary life and experience. In addition, results indicated the use of power in the interviews. Finally, the analysis revealed Clinton's political and ideological positions through the use of specific analytical categories. These categories include lexicalization, implication, authority, evidentiality, consensus example/illustration, distancing, polarization, and national self-glorification.

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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)


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