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Final Assignment of Discourse Analysiss Course

Analyzing States Malinowski at Human

Rights First Summit
Tantri Sari Safitry

Program Magister Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris

State University of Jakarta

When talking about analyzing discourse, the terms are closely related with analyzing text. To
make easier in distinguishing them, the most important thing to do is trying to understand their
purposes. To study or analyze the text, people will note the overall structure and grasp the
meaning of the content to answer the questions. Meanwhile, to study or analyze the discourse,
the main point is to determine who is communicating with whom through what medium and for
what social purpose (Kazmig, 2011).

Moreover, Fairclough (1989: 24) also stated that

discourse is a wider term than text because discourse has three dimensions: it is either
spoken or written; it is an interaction between people involving processes of producing and
interpreting the text; or it is influenced by the situation or environment in which a participant in.
One of the types of discourse analytical research is called Critical Discourse Analysis
(CDA). It is often applied to analyze political discourse including the public speech, in which
the speaker wins favorite response from the audience (Wang, 2010). Wang also stated that the
object of CDA is public speech, such as advertisement, newspaper, political propagandas, official
documents, laws and regulations and so on. Its aim is to explore the relationships among
language, ideology and power.
The purpose of this study is to analyze Tom Malinowskis speech at Human Right First
Summit. The first summit was held in Washington DC on December 9 th, 2014. While delivering
the speech, Tom is an assistant secretary at Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
United State of America. This speech is being the discursive practices as the main data. It will be
analyzed to find out its formal features and to explore the relationships among language,
ideology and power. Then, it also to find out how the speaker use the power of speeches to
persuade the public to accept and support his ideas.

In this study, the author will apply rhetorical strategies which have a goal to
recontexualize the meaning of the speech (Pu, 2007). To present the paper, at first the data source
will be analyzed using rhetorical strategies from Flowerdew (2002); Ricento (2003) and Wodak
et al (1999) cited by Pu (2007) and Critical Discourse Analysis from Van Dijk (1998) as textual
analysis tools in order to identify discursive tools that appeared in the Malinowskis speech. The
observed rhetorical strategies in Malinowskis speech are parallelism, antithesis and pronouns.
The analysis will be presented with the relationship between interaction and the theory in
discourse analysis. Then, the evaluation of the aspect of the relationship between discourse
analysis and the data analysis will be given along with the implication of the findings. Finally,
the conclusion is mentioned at the end of the paper to summarize the findings.
The findings show that Malinowski used parallelism on his speech to construct the listeners
understanding and believe that the United States is helping the world to defend human rights.
Parallelism is a powerful rhetorical device to convince readers, because it has elements on the
sentence that are alike in form as a signal that they are fulfilling the same role expression
(Weaver, 1967, p.1888) cited by Pu, 2007). Example is as shown below:
(1) I do want to try to offer some perspective, and to argue that the troubles were
struggling to overcome are to some degree a product of historical progress, a flip side of
trends that should give us hope about the future. I also want to talk about something we
are doing to give the good guys a more powerful weapon in their fight, and to ask your
help in doing it.
Another example can be found on the extract here:

(2) Citizens are more empowered because nations have established institutions and
policies however imperfect -- to enforce these human rights norms. If you flout them,
you will be condemned. You may be sanctioned. You may one day even be prosecuted.
Citizens are more empowered because they are more connected to each other. Civil
society in one country helps civil society in every other country and its not just civil
society in the US and Western Europe doing the helping. If you are learning civil resistance
to dictatorship, you are probably being taught by a former dissident from Serbia or
Georgia. If you are mapping outbreaks of violence in a crisis-torn country, you may well be
using software tools invented by activists from Kenya. Citizens are also more
empowered because information and ideas can no longer be contained.
The last example of parallelism can be seen on this extract:
(3) And so we will continue our support for civil society wherever it is threatened. We will
stand up for imprisoned activists around the world. We will oppose laws that restrict
freedom of expression, association and assembly, or that target vulnerable ethnic, religious
or sexual minorities. Well employ all the traditional tools in our arsenal, from private and
public diplomacy to leveraging our assistance to targeted sanctions. As I mentioned at the
start, we will also look for new ways to give the bad guys pause, and the good guys an
Another rhetorical strategies found on the speech is the use of antithesis. According to
Aristotle as cited by Fahnestock (2000) defines antithesis as a verbal structure that place
contracted or opposed terms in parallel or balanced cola or phrases, and opposites are most
knowable and more knowable when put beside each other. The example can be found on here:
(4) These efforts havent solved the problem, but have saved lives.

The last rhetorical strategy is the use of pronouns. On this speech it will be only focused on the
use pronoun I and we. From the results, there are some examples regarding with this feature.
Personal Pronoun

Melanowskis Speech



From the table, it can identify that the personal pronoun used the most is we. The use of
this pronoun is to shorten the distance between the speaker and the audience, regardless of their
differences in age, social status and professions (Wang, 2010). It may include both the speaker
and listener into the same arena then make the audience feel close to the speaker and his points.
For the findings, it can be understood that from the first extract, Malinowski uses parallelism to
explain his purposes on the speech as the way to make the listeners aware about the issue
mentioned because this summit occurred to bring human rights defenders to work together.
Parallelism is re-occurrence syntactical and lexical similarities and is employed across or
inside sentences or even inside clauses and phrases (Cuddon, 2012). Thats why by using
the word repetitive to, he tried to bring the objectives on the speech to address that issue.
Parallelism in here is also being as the device for keeping the listeners on track regarding with
the equivalent elements in the sentences. It also can help the listeners to interpreter the whole
Furthermore, the second extract tells that Malinowski uses parallelism as constructive
strategy in giving the facts that citizens nowadays are more empowered in defending human
rights on their life. They are more empowered because the human rights movement has
succeeded. They are now free and have a right to speak, associate and worship freely and choose

their leaders in free elections. So thats why within this strength, it is now the time to people to
more focus in dealing with human rights problems that are still happening.
These bolded parallelism phrases from the third extract can be identified as the way
Malinowski tries to make promises of future actions in defending human rights in the whole
world (Sarfo and Krampa, 2013), it also to ensure that the United States of America will help
other regions to solve their problems of human rights. The most indicator on the extract is the
repetitive use of the future tense will. It is being the statement about certain types of actions
that will take place in the future. Then, the use of statement on the sentences is applied in order
to make more effective in making promise rather than a question. In sum, Malinowskis
discursive choice uses to assure listeners that he and his government (US) is determined to take
action in fighting and defending human rights and he wants the listeners joining and working
together with them.
The next finding is about the use of antithesis in the speech. Antithesis is defined by
Cuddon (2012) as the contrasting ideas sharpened by the use of opposite or noticeably
different meanings and it creates a transparent, contrasting association between two ideas
by connecting or juxtaposing them together , of ten in parallel structure. The word but on
the extract four is seen as the contrasting word to emphasized idea of the content in the sentence.
It means that the efforts from Americans that they have helped the human rights problem in the
Central African Republic even though it havent really solved the problem yet.
Lastly, personal pronoun we is identified as the most used in the speech. If the speech is
read and listened critically, it will be grasped that in every clause or a sentence, there are some
hidden meanings await to be disclosed and signal to be noticed by the audience and readers. In
political discourse, the rhetorical strategy in using pronoun we serve to establish a relationship

between Malinowski as the politician and the public as the audience and the target of the speech.
In above example, the use of we might refer to Malinowski and the audience. Malinowski tried
to shorten the distance so that they feel they are including the one who can help in defending and
fighting the human rights. Simply put, Malinowski speaks on behalf of the citizen who also have
responsibility on this matter.
According to the teory of rethorical strategis, we can summarize the features of Malinowskis
speech as follow. First, he used pointers to make the listeners easily comprehend the correct
order of the speech. For example, he used that when explaining his perspectives and
propositions. Moreover, his language is quite easy to be understood. He used some examples and
analogies before going to the main point of the speech. Therefore, it makes the listeners have the
same background knowlegde of the issue.
Second, pararellism is used on the speech, it can be seen as the constructive stragegy in
making a promise towards the listeners. Malinowski, as the assistant secretary bureau of
democracy and human right in the United States, tried to bring the human right defenders such
as: U.S. policymakers, military leaders, and business leaders, and Members of Congress to
address some of the most pressing issues and identify pragmatic opportunities for American
leadership to advance human rights. The United State government promised to help in defending
and fighting the human rights problems all over the world. Moreover, they also focuses not just
on what human rights outcomes should be, but puts forward real-life actions on how to achieve
them. Furthermore, this speech also uses antithesis in order to emphasized the idea that the
efforts that have been done by the US government have created some effects in saving the lives
of people even though it havent solved the problem at all.

The last features found on this speech is the use of first person pronoun we. Within this,
he successfully shortened the distance between him and the audience. So it can help him
persuade the public to accept and support his ideas. Therefore, by seeing the result of this study,
it makes people understand that language can be a powerful tool that can shape and influenced
peoples mind because they communicate through it. Speech is being media that can potray a
great impact on the listeners. Then, this study, as being analyzed by using Critical Discourse
Analysis, can also explore the relationships among language, ideology and power. It provides a
new idea and method to analyze public addresses. So, it is worth for us to pay more attention in
analysing it.

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