The Power of Language as a Tool for Persuasion: A Content Analysis of Mother-In-Law Citizen TV Programme, Kenya
Persuasion remains integral to social interaction. Interactions involved in politics, mass communications, and interpersonal relations provide forums through which individuals seek to influence behavior and thoughts of others. Performance art has been documented as a vital cog in practices such as critical reflection, collaboration, creativity and communication. In Kenya, mass media through theatre arts has taken the forefront in striving to influence behavior. One such programme which has captured imagination is the Mother-in-law programme aired on Citizen TV. This study therefore seeks to exploit the language used in the programme to establish the role of theatre arts in persuasion. The programme revisits the often sensitive and tumultuous relationship between daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law. The current paper analyzes the content of eight randomly selected episodes of the programme, to explore the power that language possesses as a tool for persuasion. Results from the analyzed episodes confirm that through the language portrayed in the programme, characters exhibit persuasion through credibility (Ethos), appeal to emotions (Pathos), and appeal to logic (Logos). The familial triad that involves sons their mothers and their spouses can therefore be boosted by persuasive strategies embraced by the nuclear family. Future studies can however explore other approaches that can be complementary in the improvement of this familial triad.
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