A Critical Analysis of Language and Power in Political Context

  • Zunera Memon J. Lecturer in Pakistan studies, Dawood University of Engineering and Technology
  • Rizwan Ullah Khan M.Phil. Scholar, Hazara University Mansehra
  • Asif Raza* Lecturer in English, KUST Hangu Campus


This research piece offers a critical analysis of how language functions in capturing and exercising political power. Language, being a central feature of communication, surreptitiously intersects with power, forming a significant part of persuasion, and contributing to forming narratives, opinions, and ideology. Advocating a critical overview of the theme, this work aims to identify how political leaders and governing institutions utilize language as a tool for coordinating discussions, maintaining social hierarchies, and eradicating specific non-dominant groups from the public sphere. The paper starts with the clarification of main concept of the language manipulation in the political context, describing, how politicians employ active use of such tools as rhetoric, euphemism, and propaganda in order to mobilize the community in the support of the authority. It explores how language is used to silence the opposition, enhance repression, and uphold authoritarianism, especially in nations where censorship and propaganda are the rife, and doxing is usual practice. Moreover, the applied analysis also focuses on the function of discourse as masqueraded as power, which means it shows how language serves to create and maintain hegemonic discourses, silence other voices that can be viewed as potentially threatening, and perpetuate various forms of oppression. Thus, English categorization, as well as the exclusion of other entities, provides certain populations with a negative profile and discriminates against them, reproducing the power relations. However, the paper does not lose sight of the fact that language is also an arena of contestation and transformation, where the oppressed and the rebels fight power and injustice in discursive terms through language and instances of collective action. Thus, such forms of linguistic resistance as counter-stories, irony, and metaphor help people take their power back and challenge the oppressive power relations, thereby transforming the political landscape. Hence, this critical analysis emphasizes that pragmatics and discourse analysis are key to understanding how power ties to language, especially in politics. Language as a function of power relations can be used to oppress people and to suppress their voices; nevertheless it is not powerless when positioned within a struggle for change. To summarize the examination of the language function it is necessary to take a look at the specifics of how power is given and contested in political practices in consideration of the social function of language.

Keywords: Language, Power, Politics, Discourse Analysis, Social Function, Manipulation.

How to Cite
Zunera Memon, Rizwan Ullah Khan, & Asif Raza*. (2024). A Critical Analysis of Language and Power in Political Context. GUMAN, 7(2), 188-194. Retrieved from https://guman.com.pk/index.php/GUMAN/article/view/801