Negative Other-Representation in American Political Speeches

Author: Nawal

Keywords: critical discourse analysis, critical epistemic discourse analysis, knowledge, ideology, negative-other representation, political speech


The present study has two aims: First, to investigate the way knowledge has been expressed in relation to the negative representation of the two categories, namely, immigrants (especially illegal ones) and Syrian refugees, in two of Donald Trump’s pre- and post-presidential speeches. Second, to examine the local ideologies that can be identified in relation to the negative representation of the two categories in the selected data. Consequently, four extracts have been selected to be critically examined by means of adopting eight selected strategies out of Van Dijk’s fourteen Strategies of Critical Epistemic Discourse Analysis (2011b) in combination with Van Dijk’s Ideological Square (2011a). The results have shown a lack of credibility in many of the statements Trump has made in order to support his negative representation of the two categories. Besides, the two extracts taken from the selected post-presidential speech boldly reflect his discriminatory tendency towards the two categories. Thus, these two points lead to the conclusion that Trump’s negative representation of the two categories is actually out of the discriminatory ideology he adopts against them rather than a mere persuasive strategy to win the (2016) presidential elections of the United States of America (henceforth the U.S.).