Critical Discourse Analysis of Imran Khan Dharna Speeches in Socio-Political Perspective

  • Dr. Aasia Nusrat Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities, COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore Campus, Pakistan
  • Dr. Sardaraz Khan Director ORIC, University of Science and Technology Bannu
  • Ms. Shaista Shehzadi Lecturer, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Lahore, Pakistan
Keywords: Critical discourse analysis, dharna speeches, power within discourse, political discourse


This study aims to explore and uncover power play in Dharna 2014 speeches of Imran Khan. The study has followed the theoretical perspective of power (Fairclough, 2003) in its two-dimensions i.e. power within and behind discourse. This research is significant in terms of enabling common public of Pakistan to understand their leader in terms of the concept of power by comprehending the meaning that language conveys. The research method applies thematic analysis and utilizes Fairclough’s three-dimensional model (1989) as data analyzing tool. The speeches were analyzed by considering Textual, Discursive and Societal levels of discourse. The key findings in case of power within discourse include that the speaker showed the use of pronoun ‘I’ in order to show his power and by using the pronoun ‘we’ he gained the support of the audience in order to win their hearts and reflect this as a power on the rulers. The speakers explained in detail the unjust rule of the government by using different linguistic tools like modal verbs, vocabulary, transitivity, inter-discourse etc. Moreover, in case of power behind discourse, the key findings include the power of west and Islam in the speaker’s speeches.