Rhetorical Devices of Hate Speech in Kenyan Political Discourse


  • Chelule June Chebet Author
  • Evelyne Mahero Author
  • Jacinta Ndambuki Author


Rhetorical devices, political discourse, hate speech


Rhetoric is useful for its persuasive function in speech. Political discourses make use of rhetorical devices to convince listeners in an effort to get the support needed in democratic spaces or for control and manipulation. The objectives of this qualitative study are to identify and explain rhetorical devices of hate speech in sampled Kenyan politicians’ speeches on the YouTube platform and to discuss the devices as used in the political speeches considered as hate speech in Kenya. A purposive sampling of data was carried out and a total of ten political speeches were collected. The speeches were transcribed and translated then thematically analysed guided by the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) framework, the Discourse Historical Analysis (DHA) approach and Relevance theories. The qualitative study reveals that the speakers employed a variety of rhetorical devices which include repetition, direct address, allusion, rhetorical questions, and symbolism. The findings revealed that the sampled speeches were intended to influence or to persuade the audiences on specific ideologies located in the specific choice of words. The study contributes to the discussion of hate speech from an applied linguistics perspective. The findings are useful to the general public in making informed choices on hate speech and to policy makers who can use the information to understand and control the practice.




How to Cite

Rhetorical Devices of Hate Speech in Kenyan Political Discourse. (2023). CoreTrain Journal, 1(1), 1-69. https://ojs.coretrainjournal.org/index.php/ctj/article/view/6

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