On Political Participation: Discursive Pragmatics and Social Interaction in Nolitics

Innocent Chiluwa

Abstract


Nolitics is a Nigerian online political discussion forum that provides an opportunity for social interaction and political participation, through new media technologies. It is hosted by NaijaPals – a hosting website with social networking and blogging activities. Naijpals maintains an online community of bloggers with Nolitics as a discussion forum solely devoted to social and political debates. Members exchange information and engage in social analyses and criticisms of Nigeria’s political performances. A total of 104 ‘posts’ are analyzed in the framework of computer-mediated discourse analysis with insights and methods from pragmatics. Findings show that discursive/ pragmatic strategies such as modality, implicitness/implication, directive speech acts, proposition/inference and indirect speech acts function as a means of mobilizing people towards political participation e.g. voting during elections. They are also used as strategies for attacking corruption and political power abuse, initiating and practising political propaganda by politicians and as discourse tact of preventing offences. The study reveals that new media technologies not only promote political participation and governance but show that the people are hungry to be involved in political issues and questions that affect their lives. Corruption and political power abuse are identified as major banes of modern democracies, particularly the Nigerian context. Key words: Nolitics; Nigeria; Politics; Political Participation; Discussion forum; Posts

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2Fj.sll.1923156320110202.017

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