The Representation of Immigrants A Critical Discourse Analysis of Donald Trump’s Immigration Speech in the Presidential Campaign of 2016

University essay from Malmö universitet/Fakulteten för kultur och samhälle (KS)

Abstract: CDA is a multi-disciplinary approach to discourse which study the relationship between discourse, power and ideology. This makes the application of it on political discourse very suitable since it can be applied to analyse the specific structures of language and ideologies used by politicians to influence the recipient’s mind and hence their actions. This paper, based on a CDA’s framework, investigates the connection between the discursive strategies and the ideological strategies used by Donald Trump to represent immigrants during the 2016 presidential campaign. In so doing this study utilizes Norman Fairclough’s three-dimensional model (2001) of doing CDA and Van Dijk’s ideological Square (2006,2011) to analyse Trump’s speech on immigration delivered in Phoenix, Arizona during the elections of 2016. The results have shown that when talking about immigrants Trump represents them only negatively by describing them as being a threat, economic burden and deviant.This is done by exploiting the strategies of actor description, polarization, victimization, empathy, topos, number game, illustrations, lexicalization, syntax, predicational strategies, comparison, evidentiality, local coherence, implication and generalization. This led to the conclusion that by choosing to emphasize the bad actions of immigrants and ignoring their positive actions, Trump was addressing and appealing to the White Americans only.

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