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The Critical Discourse Analysis of selected editorial cartoons aims at revealing the intended meaning hidden in the discourse used in editorial cartoons, to his readers and explains the theory and tools used in extracting out this meaning and its social relevance.
The tools; text analysis; interpretation and social analysis have been able to reveal the inbalance in the use of language among the highly placed over the lowly placed, thus the use of language reflects power dominance, injustice and inequality.
Language is the only endowment from God to humans, which makes us totally different from other creatures. Though, these other creatures have a language, yet they do not communicate intentionally, habitually and sensitively as humans do. Language is basically vocal, its use brought the need to converse and communicate.So then, the use of language in communication is called Discourse.
Discourse enables one to see utterances beyond their sentence, level, beyond what Brown (189) calls “sentence – level phenomena”. It is also a piece of information exchange between two or more people, the study of conversation and not the formal properties, although it could be in written or spoken context. Texts either oral or written media, events like advertisements, commentaries, news items, editorial and cartoons are all forms of discourse.
Over the years, this discipline has been described by scholars like Brown and Yule, still there is a reason to look intently to how discourse operates, this brought about the “analysis of language in use” which is called Discourse Analysis.Since the only permanent thing in life is changes, there came a reason to critically analyse language use, as used in our society.
Critical discourse analysis, analyses the use of language in areas of power abuse, power and dominance, discourse structures and strategies, injustice, inequality, social cognition and communication in leadership while cartoons, especially in newspapers are very important, though most readers of newspapers see them only as a piece for entertainments ,which rather,is basically for information, education and entertainment
This research work aims at examining the words that constitutes this discourse and the intended meaning in which they portray, through so far, there has been some findings and researches on the critical discourse analysis of cartoons mostly editorial / political cartoons. It intends to correct the imbalance use of language in the society between the privileged over the unprivileged, the influential and powerful over the lowly.
1.2 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
As a result of the notion people have on cartoons, this work aims at enlighten them andproving to them, that cartoons goes beyond entertaining, educating and informing, but also that the use of discourse, intentionally by the cartoonist, has some things or carry issues it portrays. Critical discourse analysts, have over the years examined why language in use varies between the educated over the uneducated, rich over the poor, the highly placed over the lowly or averagely placed.
This research work aims at bringing out these lapses and finding a way it can be tackled. The chapter three of this research work would bring this out fully and identify the lapses.
The essence of language in communication is to pass across a message and be decoded correctly by the listener, but it will be a sin to nature when the use of language is used to exploit, overpower, abuse and override each other. This research work has come to widen the horizon of people to the vices involved in the use of language, especially in editorial cartoons, so as to change the readers orientation towards what they count only as entertainments.
Some political cartoons have been chosen, to give this research work a good critical analysis of the discourse in use and possibly bring out a hypothesis to help in bridging the gap, the misuse of discourse has caused.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The cartoons to be used have been extracted from the “the Guardian” newspaper. Specifically the works of D.D. ONU and OBEESS of the same newspaper. “The Guardian”. This particular newspaper has been chosen, since it is regarded as one of the best newspapers in Nigeria, whose conscience is transparent in terms of speaking the truth and possesses the best cartoons in the country in meaning and potency. The cartoons are widely read, since the newspaper is as well, a first class.
Twenty one cartoons will be examined for this research work. These editorial cartoons are chosen mostly because of their relevance to this research topic which is a critical discourse analysis of a selected Nigerian newspaper. The span is within a period of four weeks,from January 2, 2011 to January 26, 2011.
1.5 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The term critical discourse analysis would be studied intensively, its analysis, tools and benefits to the society. Also, editorial cartoons would be examined, how the language is studied and how critical discourse analysis can be used to give a thorough analysis of these cartoons in order to extract the intended meaning and the social relevance of the cartoons.
1.6 DATA DESCRIPTION
The data chosen for this study is twenty one political cartoons from the Guardian newspaper.
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