Persuasion and Mind Control in Leadership Discourse: A Socio-Cognitive Approach towards Selected Political Speeches


Farzana Masroor
Sidra Shaikh
Safa Marwa
Saman Afzaal


Political leaders frequently engage with the masses to fulfil their political agendas. For this purpose, language serves as a vital tool in the hands of the politicians. This fact is mostly noticeable in the political speeches made on various public forums. Taking into account the significance of such speeches for moving the masses in their favour, the current study carries out a critical discourse analysis of the speeches of the prominent politician and the current Prime Minister Imran Khan. The aim is to to unveil ideological underpinnings of  the political rhetoric and speeches of the said politician,  The researchers selected three speeches of the said politician delivered during three different political eras inlcuding the protest era, pre-election era, and the post-election era. These eras were categorized following the stratified sampling technique.These speeches were analyzed using van Dijk’s (1993) socio-cognitive approach. The analysis focused on the use of certain strategies such as mind control, rhetoric art, argumentative move, emotional attachment and historical distortion. The results attributed Imran Khan’s rise to the position of the Prime Minister to the strategic and manipulative political discourse made in his speeches. His primary focus remained on controlling the mind of the youth, which was achieved through the use of the above mentioned strategies in multiple ways. This research is significant as it creates awareness and consciousness in the public regarding the rhetorical strategies adopted by political leaders such as Imran Khan to exercise mind control and mould public opinion in their favour.


How to Cite
Masroor, F., Shaikh, S., Marwa, S., & Afzaal, S. (2020). Persuasion and Mind Control in Leadership Discourse: A Socio-Cognitive Approach towards Selected Political Speeches. Journal of Communication and Cultural Trends, 2(2). Retrieved from


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