Humanities and Arts
Institution: Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of English, Sousse, Tunisia
© attribution CC-BY
Doi: https://doi. org/10.46687/YBGR8804.2022-08-22
This article accounts for the process of legitimization as a mere instrument of control in society where symbolic power is manifested. By conducting a critical discourse analysis in combination with frameworks for analyzing legitimating devices in discourse as developed by Theo van Leeuwen (2007) and Antonio Reyes (2011), this study scrutinizes the legitimation strategies used in Ben Affleck’s speech before the American House Foreign Affairs Committee on Congo crisis (2011). The paper also investigates the linguistic devices leaned on by this social actor to advance particular political ends. The results from the qualitative analysis have shown that this activist establishes links with his audience outlining common values firmly grounded on US history, cultural tradition and political ideologies. His reasoning constructs specific understandings of US involvement in the new “war on terror” legitimized through (1) hypothetical future, (2) rationality, (3) voices of expertise and (4) altruism.