THE EFFECT OF LANGUAGE OF PROPAGANDA ON PERSUADING VOTERS IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF ADAMAWA STATE)


THE EFFECT OF LANGUAGE OF PROPAGANDA ON PERSUADING VOTERS IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF ADAMAWA STATE)  

ABSTRACT

The uses of language of propaganda in campaigns often follow a strategic transmission pattern to indoctrinate the target group. This may begin with a simple transmission such as a leaflet dropped from a plane or an advertisement.

This research project is thus a search part for the effect of language of propaganda on persuading voters in Nigeria.

Chapter one of the study lays an introduction for subsequent chapters. Following the background of the study, the problem statement and the objective of the study which provided basis for the significance of the study and the hypothesis were stated. The limitations of this study were also highlighted.

In the literature review as contained in chapter two, works of various authors, international and local journals were reviewed to elicit views on the effect of language of propaganda on persuading voters in Nigeria.

Chapter three, research methodology, description of population and sampling procedure for data collection were discussed. Methods of questionnaire design, determination of sampling size and questionnaire distribution were also highlighted.

Chapter four was based on analysis of data collected. This chapter was sub-divided into data analysis, hypothesis testing and summary. Percentage table, figure and narration were carefully employed for proper understanding and testing of hypothesis.

Finally, chapter five was divided into summary of findings, recommendation and conclusion. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page - - - - - - - - - i

Approval Page - - - - - - - - ii

Declaration - - - - - - - - iii

Dedication - - - - - - - - - iv

Acknowledgement - - - - - - - v

Abstract - - - - - - - - - vi

Table of Contents - - - - - - - vii

CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study - - - - - 1

1.2 Statement of General Problem - - - - 5

1.3 Objective of the Study - - - - - - 6

1.4 Research Questions - - - - - - 6

1.5 Significance of the Study - - - - - 7

1.6 Scope of the Study - - - - - - 8

1.7 Definition of Terms - - - - - - 8

CHAPTER TWO – REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1 Introduction - - - - - - - 10

2.2 Theoretical Framework - - - - - 11

2.3 Conceptual Framework - - - - - 14

2.4 Empirical Review - - - - - - 16

CHAPTER THREE – RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction - - - - - - - 32

3.2 Research Design - - - - - - 32

3.3 Area of the Study - - - - - - 32

3.4 Population of Study - - - - - - 33

3.5 Sample size and Sampling Techniques - - - 33

3.6 Instrument for Data Collection - - - - 33

3.7 Validity of the Instrument - - - - - 33

3.8 Reliability of the Instrument - - - - 34

3.9 Method of Data Collection - - - - - 34

3.10 Method of Data Analysis - - - - - 34

CHAPTER FOUR – DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

4.0 Introduction - - - - - - - 36

4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis - - - - 36

4.2 Characteristics of the Respondents - - - 36

4.3 Data Analysis - - - - - - - 39

4.4Testing Hypothesis------

4.5Summary of Findings------

4.6Discussion of Findings-----

CHAPTER FIVE – SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.0Introduction-------

5.1Summary--------

5.2Conclusion--------

5.3Recommendations------

References --------

Appendix--------

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Man by nature is a political animal. This suggests that man is both gregarious and solitary. Politics focuses on ‘who gets what’, ‘when and how’. It determines the process through which power and influence are used in the promotion of certain values and interests (Lasswell, 1977). To be involved in politics therefore is demanding as certain things must be put into consideration. This is the use of language of propaganda in politicsas a persuading tool which do have significant effect on voter’s behaviourand is however the centre-piece of this study. This can also be termed ‘political Language.

Political campaigns are an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision-making process within a specific group or environment. It can also be viewed as the mobilization of forces either by an organization or individuals to influence others in order to effect an identified and desired political change. It shows people and particularly, political candidates’ ability to sensitize the political community in relation to making the community see them as potentials and better representatives of the people. At any rate, every campaign is unique, and the ultimate goal of almost every political campaign is to win election (Lynn, 2009). 

The priceless rights of our democracy are perhaps the dearest to all is the guarantee of the freedom to speak and publish what we want(with-in the limits of decency and the libel laws). However, this freedom of speech provides a scope for propaganda for those unscrupulous enough to exploit it for their own ends.

The word Propaganda itself used to be a respectable term, originally meaning the spreading of good news. When Goebbels, Hitler and other Fascists began to use the word to describe their promotional activities, propaganda started its slide into disrepute. Today propaganda is associated with the insidious and subversive means of moving a person to predetermined ends (Danziger, 1998).

Common media for transmitting propaganda messages include news reports, government reports, historical revision, junk science, books, leaflets, movies, radio, television, and posters. In the case of radio and television, propaganda can exist on news, current-affairs or talk-show segments, as advertising or public-service announce "spots" or as long-running advertorials. The uses of language of propaganda in campaigns often follow a strategic transmission pattern to indoctrinate the target group. This may begin with a simple transmission such as a leaflet dropped from a plane or an advertisement. Generally these messages will contain directions on how to obtain more information, via a web site, hot line, radio program, etc. The strategy intends to initiate the individual from information recipient to information seeker through reinforcement, and then from information seeker to opinion leader through indoctrination.What seems to be very important in any political campaign is the ‘message’ that is sent to the electorates. A campaign message is an important and potent tool that politicians use to express views and feelings to the public with the intention of reshaping and redirecting the electorates’ opinions to align with theirs with the use of language of propaganda. The message should be a simple statement that can be repeated severally throughout the campaign period to persuade the target audience or influence voters’ act in the candidates’ favour and describes the opposition in bad light. The campaign message ought to contain the salient ingredients that the candidate wishes to share with the voters and these must be repeated often in order to create a lasting impression on the voters. Propagandais the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influence the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends through psychological manipulations (Jacque, 1965). It is usually repeated and dispersed over a wide range of media in order to stimulate and sensitize the electorates and by extension, assist in harming an opponent. 

Persuasion is a process by which someone, usually by reasoned arguments or logic, appeal to sound judgment in order to attain his set goals. A persuasive language soothes the voters particularly, when topics or issues that revolve around problems that affect voters are repeatedly mentioned in the course of the campaign. It also follows that the language of political campaign embodied in propaganda and rhetoric, is persuasive because most politicians adopt these linguistic devices to cajole the electorates to vote for them and their political parties by presenting themselves as the only capable individuals for the position (Omozuwa and Ezejideaku, 2007). 

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The language of propaganda in politics has been described as a language of ridicule, and reproach, pleading and persuasion, colour and bite permeated. It is a language designed to exult some men, destroy some and change the mind of others (Omozuwa and Ezejideaku, 2007). The point is that the phenomenon of persuasion is an integral part of politics and a necessary component of the pursuit and exercise of power. Politicians use a variety of techniques to ensure they captivate voter’s attention and establish credibility and trust amongst the electorates. However, the researcher seeks to examine the effect of language of propaganda on persuading voters in Nigeria.

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The general objective of this study is to examine the effect of language of propaganda on persuading voters in Nigeria and the following are the specific objectives:

1. To analyze the effect of language of propaganda on persuading voters in Nigeria.

2. To identify different types of political propaganda strategies in Nigeria.

3. To identify how politicians benefit from the use of language of propaganda as a persuasive tool.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1. What is the effect of language of propaganda on persuading voters in Nigeria?

2. What are the different types of political propaganda strategies in Nigeria?

3. How does politicians benefit from the use of language of propaganda as a persuasive tool?

1.5 HYPOTHESIS

HO: Language of propaganda cannot be used in persuading voters in Nigeria.

HA: Language of propaganda can be used in persuading voters in Nigeria.

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The following are the significance of this study:

1. This study will be of benefit to the general electorate on the influence of the language of propaganda used by political leaders on their behaviour. It will also educate the stakeholders in the politics on the different types of propaganda and its effect in persuading voters.

2. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied, it will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.

1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The scope of this study on the effect of language of propaganda on persuading voters will cover all the strategy of propaganda in the politician speeches during the course of electioneering campaign. It will also cover the benefits of the use of language of propaganda in politics.

LIMITATION OF STUDY

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Politics: the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.

Propaganda: information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.

Language: the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.

Voters: a person who votes or has the right to vote at an election.

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1 INTRODUCTION

This chapter gives an insight into various studies conducted by outstanding researchers, as well as explained terminologies with regards to the effect of language propagation on persuading voters in Nigeria. The chapter also gives a resume of the history and present status of the problem delineated by a concise review of previous studies into closely related problems.

2.2 Theoretical Framework

Communication as a complex phenomenon remains vital to a sustenance of relationships and human existence. It is in fact, the oil that lubricates human interactions. Despite this significance, communication is a double-edged sword which can be used either positively or negatively. Boulton (1978, p.41) attested to the negative social intend of language from the perspective of its potential for complexity. She also observed that ‘’language is often used, not to communicate but to deceive. This is often true of political and religious propaganda... .’’ The intention to manipulate people’s mind and thought is symbolically expressed through print and broadcast media particularly, during political campaigns and in the eventual practice of politics in a given society. Using a purposive sampling method , the paper identified 51 samples but analysed 16 political messages and slogans reflected in the print media (billboard and newspaper-paid advertisements) during the 2011 electioneering campaigns in Nigeria. It was observed that man as a political animal engages in the practice of politics as a social and noble activity to express his political agenda either positively or negatively. Therefore, it was recommended that political candidates should endeavour to inform and persuade electorates rather than deceive or merely entertain them.

Kaid (1981) tells us that politics “largely is a word game.” It uses carefully selected words, presented in a specific manner, in order to achieve a preconceived objective. It is the structuring of selected words in a particular order and expressed either as spoken or written, that extols the mode in discourse analysis. In the case of “See who wants to be President of Nigeria, the spoken word approach was adopted in the expression of the idea, contained in the political commercial used to canvas votes for political candidates, during the April, 2015 presidential electioneering campaign in Nigeria. It is probably, the functionalistic definition of discourse as the relationship which language creates in “topic, situation, intention and background knowledge” (Osuafor, 1983, p.19) that brings the essence of words and their meanings in the political realm to the fore.

Words are used in the generation of meaning in beings that have a common frame of reference, (Owuamalam, 2010). They are not static but dynamic in use and meaning, within specific contextual considerations (Graber, 1981). It is their style of presentation in a political scenario that produces the mood which greets statements and sentiments as well as condition feelings, as the psychological consequence of understanding. Word choice, therefore, enables rhetoricians to deal with contentious issues, like who is best qualified to be elected to a political position, such as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Although the formalists favour word meaning as linguistically provided, they however differ in the opinion of the functionalists, who prefer word use and its context, as the determinants of meaning (Fiske, 1990). It is the functional approach that excites the active humans who seek basis to justify their actions within a political melieu. The functionality of word use, therefore, forms the presentation style as seen in political commercials (Ozoh, 2014). It facilitates audience rapport for the achievement of a political goal (Owuamalam, 2014).

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THE EFFECT OF LANGUAGE OF PROPAGANDA ON PERSUADING VOTERS IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF ADAMAWA STATE)



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