Critical Discourse Analysis on I Have a Dream Speech by Martin Luther King Jr.

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CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS (CDA) ON “I HAVE A DREAM” SPEECH BY MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. 788627 LP2006 RESEARCH METHODS IN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL STUDIES. INTRODUCTION. This paper scrutinizes and analyzes the compelling strategies behind Martin Luther King’s speech prominently known as “I Have a Dream” which was immaculately orated during the August 28th 1963 Civil rights march on Washington D.C. The analysis of the contents of the speech have been argued and analyzed over and over by so many political and social scholars in past years that it has become such a popular artifact. In the United States, 1963 was renowned for racial unrest and civil rights demonstrations (Shmuel: 2007) Martin Luther king was one of the major protesters against racial unrest at these times, so involved was he in these protests that he was arrested in Birmingham Alabama for civil disobedience. The march on Washington D.C was at the pinnacle of the civil rights and African-American plight; the march took place from the Washington monument to the Lincoln memorial (Shmuel: 2007) where Martin Luther King gave his speech. Martin Luther king was a Christian, and his myriad amount of speeches all had a hint of religious values within them, “I am fundamentally a Clergyman, a Baptist preacher”, “He moved the nation with the soul of a church” (Lischer: 1995). The speech “I have a dream” was clearly influenced not only by what was going on at the point in time mainly in the south of the United States but also what was going on in the country and in the world in general and to Martin Luther King as an individual. The Methodology I have chosen to work with is that of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), this is based more or less on Faircloughs description that states “CDA aims to explore often opaque relationships of causality and determination between discursive practices, events and texts &
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