Lexis in Political Ideas on Twitter

Renugah Ramanathan, Tan Bee Hoon, Shamala Paramasivam


Ideologies in political discourse have been keen research topics as they provide various views of an issue or event. The prominent aspect of ideology is that it attempts to bridge the political activism to the social world that reflects the authenticity of political figures. This study aims to compare the ideological notions in the political tweets of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak (henceforth, Najib) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi (henceforth, Modi) during the election campaigns. The discourse between both the political premiers are compared in relation to their active participation on Twitter in Asia. Data were collected over a period of 3 months during the election campaigns of both the countries which were from February to April 2013 in Malaysia and January to March 2014 in India. The study follows the qualitative research design by employing Fairclough’s three dimensional model in analyzing the lexical choices and the formation of ideas. The presence of various ideologies in the tweets portray the consensual power of the political leaders as the citizens accepts the former’s principles, ideologies and moral values. Hence, this study is significant because the study increases political awareness among citizens and provides insights on how language is employed by both leaders from different political coalition. Besides, this study produces knowledge that helps society to understand how 140 character can be a powerful tool in disseminating ideas during national elections and making election a success.   


CDA, Ideologies, Power, Twitter

Full Text:



Ali, S., & Khalid, M. (2008). US mass media and Muslim world: portrayal of Muslims by news-week and time. European Journal of Scientific Research, 21(4), 554-580.

Alo, M. A. (2012). A Rhetorical Analysis of Selected Political Speeches of Prominent African Leaders. British Journal of Arts and Social Science, 10 (1), 87-100.

Alo, M., & AJEWOLE-ORIMOGUNJE, C. O. (2013). Discourse Strategies and Ideology in Selected Radio Lead News of Osun State Broadcasting Corporation, Nigeria. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 19 (2), 111-123. http://journalarticle.ukm.my/6524/

Basser, A., & Alvi, S. D. (2011). An Analysis of Barack Obama’s Speech ‘Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention’. Language in India, 10, 310-335.

Behnam, B. & Mahmoudy, B. (2013). A critical discourse analysis of the reports issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General on Iran’s nuclear program during the last decade. Theory and Practice in Language Studies. 3(12), 2196-2201.

Boyd, D., Golder, S., & Lotan, G. (2010). Tweet, tweet, retweet: Conversational aspects of retweeting on twitter. In Proceedings of the 43rd Hawaii International Conference on System Science, 1-10.

Bruns, A. (2012). How long is a tweet? Mapping dynamic conversation networks on Twitter using Gawk and Gephi. Information, Communication & Society, 15(9), 1323-1351.

Bryman, A. (2008). Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Carley, K. M. (1997). Extracting team mental models through textual analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 533-558.

Conover, M., Ratkiewicz, J., Francisco, M., Gonçalves, B., Menczer, F., & Flammini, A. (2011). Political Polarization on Twitter. In Proceedings of the Fifth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media.

Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mix Methods Approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publication.

David, M. K., & Dumanig, F. P. (2011). National unity in multi-ethnic Malaysia: A critical discourse analysis of Tun Dr. Mahathir’s political speeches. Language Discourse &Society, 1(1), 11-31.

David, M., & Dumanig, K. F. (2011). National unity in multi-ethnic Malaysia: A Critical discourse analysis of Tun Dr. Mahathir‘s political speeches. Language, Discourse and Society, 1(1), 11-31.

Fairclough, N. (1989). Language and Power. London: Routledge

Fairclough, N. (1992). Discourse and Social Change (Vol. 73). Cambridge: Polity press.

Fairclough, N. (1995a). Critical discourse analysis. The critical study of language. London: Longman.

Fairclough, N., & Wodak, R. (1997). Critical Discourse Analysis. In T.A. Van Dijk (Eds). Discourse as Social Interaction. (pp. 258-284). London: Sage.

Fathi, N., & Sanger, D. E. (2009). Iran Offers ‘Dialogue with Respect’with US. New York Times.

Gottschalk, P., & Greenberg, G. (2008). Islamophobia: making Muslims the enemy. USA: Rowman & Littlefield.

Gramsci, A. (1971). Selections from the Prison Notebooks. London: Elecbook.

Grusell, M., & Nord, L. (2012). Three attitudes to 140 characters the use and views of twitter in political party communications in Sweden. Public Communication Review, 2(2), 48-61.

Horváth, J. (2009). Critical discourse analysis of Obama’s political discourse. In Proceedings of Language, literature and culture in a changing transatlantic world, International conference, University of Presov, 45-56.

Jahedi, M., & Abdullah, F. S. (2012a). Post-September 11 discourse: The case of Iran in The New York Times. International Journal of English Linguistics,2(1), 59-70.

Jahedi, M., & Abdullah, F. S. (2012b). The ideological construction of Iran in The NYT. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 32(3), 361-381.

Jorgensen, M. W., & Phillips, L. J. (2002). Discourse analysis as theory and method. London. Sage.

Kushin, M. J., & Kitchener, K. (2009). Getting political on social network sites: Exploring online political discourse on Facebook. Peer-Reviewed Journal on the Internet, 14(11).

Lockyer, S. (2008). Textual Analysis. In Lisa M. Given (Eds.), The Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods. (pp. 865-867). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412963909.n449

Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1970). The German Ideology. New York, NY: International Publisher.

Mason, J. (2002). Qualitative Researching (2nd ed.). London: Sage Publication.

Mayasari, M., Darmayanti, N. & Riyanto, S. (2013). Critical discourse analysis of reporting on" Saweran for KPK Building" in media Indonesia Daily Newspaper. International Journal of Linguistics. 5(4), 213-224.

McKee, A. (2003). Textual Analysis: A Beginner’s Guide. London: Sage

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publication.

Mills, S. (2003). Michel Foucault. London: Routledge.

Moniruzzaman, M. (2013). The 13th Malaysian general election: Uncertainties and expectations. Intellectual Discourse, 21(1), 55.

Murthy, D. (2011). Twitter: Microphone for the masses? Media Culture and Society, 33(5), 779-789.

Obama, B. (2007, April, 29). Thinking we're only one signature away from ending the war in Iraq. Learn more at http://www.barackobama.com (tweet). Retrieved from: https://twitter.com/barackobama/status/44240662?lang=en

Philosophy of Bharatiya Janarta Party (2016). Integral Humanism. Retrieved from: http://www.bjp.org/about-the-party/philosophy/?u=integral-humanism

Puschmann, C. (2015). The form and function of quoting in digital media. Discourse, context and media. 7, 28-36.

Shukry, A. S. M. (2013). A critical discourse analysis of Mahathir Mohamad’s speeches on the “war on terror”. Intellectual Discourse, 21(2), 171-195.

Simpson, P., & Mayr, A. (2010). Language and Power: A Resource Book for Students. Oxon: Routledge.

Susser, B. (1995). Political Ideology in the Modern World. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Tumasjan, A., Sprenger, T. O., Sandner, P. G., & Welpe, I. M. (2010). Predicting Elections with Twitter: What 140 Characters Reveal about Political Sentiment. In Proceedings of the Fourth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media,178-185.

Van Dijk, T. A. (1993). Principles of Critical Discourse Analysis. Discourse & Society, 4(2), 249- 283.

Van Dijk, T. A. (1995). Power and the news media. In D. Paletz (Ed.). Political Communication and Action (pp. 9-36). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press

Van Dijk, T. A. (1996). Discourse, power and access. In C. R. Caldas-Coulthard & M. Coulthard (Eds.). Texts and Practices. Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis. (pp. 84-104). London: Routledge.

Van Dijk, T. A. (1998). Opinions and Ideologies. In A. Bell & P. Garrett (Eds.), Approaches to Media Discourse. (pp. 21-63). Oxford: Blackwell.

Van Dijk, T. A. (2000). Ideology and Discourse: A multidisciplinary Introduction. Barcelona: Pompeu Fabra University.

Van Dijk, T. A. (2002a). Political Discourse and Ideology. In C. U. Lorda & M. Ribas (Eds.), Analysis of Political Discourse. (pp. 15-34). Barcelona: Pompeu Fabra University.

Van Dijk, T. A. (2002b). Discourse and Racism. In D. Goldberg & J. Solomos (Eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Racial and Ethnic Studies. (pp. 145-159). Oxford: Blackwell.

Van Dijk, T. A. (2003). Critical discourse analysis. In D. Tannen, D. Schiffrin & H. Hamilton (Eds.), Handbook of discourse analysis. (pp. 352-371). Oxford: Blackwell.

Van Dijk, T. A. (2006a). Ideology and Discourse Analysis. Journal of Political Ideologies, 11(2), 115-140.

Van Dijk, T. A. (2006b). Politics, Ideology and Discourse. In K. Brown (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2nd ed.) (pp. 728-740). Boston: Elsevier.

Van Dijk, T. A. (2009). Critical discourse studies: A sociocognitive approach. In R. Wodak & M. Meyer (Eds). Methods of critical discourse analysis (2nd ed.) (pp 62-86). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Wodak, R., & Meyer, M. (2009). Critical Discourse Analysis: history, agenda, theory and methodology. In R. Wodak & M. Meyer (Eds). Methods of critical discourse analysis (2nd ed.) (pp 1-33). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Zhang, M. (2014). A critical discourse analysis of political news reports. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 4(11), 2273-2277.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.6n.7p.342


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.