A Critical Discourse Analysis of Linguistic and Discursive Strategies Used in Kenya’s Citizen Television Advertisements to Display Gender Ideologies

  • Edna Magoma Mayoyo Egerton University
  • Josephine Khaemba, PhD Egerton University
  • Fred Wanjala Simiyu, PhD Kibabii University
Keywords: Discursive Strategies, Linguistic Devices, Gender Ideologies, Advertisements, Citizen Television
Share Article:


The present study sought to examine how linguistic devices and discursive strategies used in Kenya’s Citizen TV ads which pattern men and women differently according to gender well-being. This thereby results in unconscious rationalisations of social constructions. Using observation as the main tool of data collection, a corpus of fourteen adverts sourced from one mainstream media station, Citizen TV were purposively sampled, observed by the researcher, transcribed into data, coded, then thematically analysed using techniques of content analysis. Guided by Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis theory which provided the framework for analysis, the study adopted a qualitative, case study research design. The research design provided in-depth information about the phenomenon in order to establish the discursive and linguistic strategies used in the TV ads and how they mirror society’s system of values, attitudes and beliefs about men and women. The findings of this study indicated that gender ideologies that affect how meaning is made out of Kenyan TV ads were embedded in linguistic structures, social processes and manoeuvres.


Download data is not yet available.


Athanasiadou, A., & Tabakowska, E. (Eds.). (2010). Speaking of emotions: Conceptualisation and expression. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter Press.

Bandura, A., Walters, R. H. (1963). Social Learning and personality development. New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston Press.

Cameron, D. (2001). Working with spoken discourse. London: Sage Publications Limited.

Cameron, D. (2006). On Language and Sexual Politics. London: Routledge Press.

Carney, D. R., Hall, J. A., & LeBeau, L. S. (2005). Beliefs about the non-verbal expression of social power. Journal of non-verbal behaviour, Vol 29, (pp 105-123).

Chand, P. & Chaudhary, S. (2012). Advertising discourse: Studying creation and perception of Meaning. International Journal of English and Literature, 3(2), 40-49.

Cook, G. (2001). The Discourse of Advertising. London: Routledge Press.

Courtney, A. E., &Whipple, T. W. (1974). Women in TV Commercials. Journal of Communication, 24(2), (110-118).

Curran, J. (2002). Media and Power: Communication and Society. London: Routledge Press.

Dines, G., & Humez, J. (1994). Gender, Race and Class in Media: A Text Reader. London: Sage Publications Limited.

Dornyei, Z. (2010). Research Methods in Applied Linguistics: Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methodologies. London: Blackwell University Press.

Essed, P. J. (1991). Understanding Everyday Racism: An Interdisciplinary Theory. Newbury Park, C. A: Sage.

Fairclough, N. (1989). Language and Power. London: Longman Publishing Press.

Finch, G. (2003). How to study Linguistics. A Guide to Understanding the language. New York:

Foucault, M. (2008). Power (Essential Works). New York: Macmillan Press.

Fraenkel, J.R., Wallen, N. E., & Hyun, H. H. (1993). How to design and evaluate research in Education (Vol. 7). New York: McGraw- Hill.

Gauntlett, D. (2002). Media, Gender and Identity: An Introduction. London: Routledge.

Holmes, J. (2005) Power and Discourse at Work: Is Gender Relevant?. In Lazar, M. (Ed), Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis: Gender, Power and Ideology in Discourse (pp. 31-60). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Khaemba, J. (2013). Construction of hegemonic masculinities in selected Bukusu Rituals. Unpublished, PhD Thesis. Egerton University.

Kilbourne, J. (1999). Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power ofAdvertising. New York: Free Press.

Kundu, M., & Wambui, C. (1993). The Portrayal of Women Through Television Advertising. Unpublished Thesis. University of Nairobi.

Lippmann, W. (1922). Public Opinion. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company

Manca, L., & Manca, A. (1994). Formats and Editions of Gender and Utopia in Advertising: A Critical Reader. New York: University Press.

Manka, D. (2011). Interpretations of HIV and AIDS TV ads amongst selected urban teen girls. Unpublished, PhD Thesis. Egerton University.

Nesler, M. S., Aguinis, H., Quigley, B.M., & Tedeschi, J.T. (1993). The Effect of Credibility on Perceived Power 1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, (23) (17),1407-1425.

O’Donnell. W. J., & O’Donnell, K. J. (1978). Update: Sex-role messages in TV commercials. Journal of Communication, 28(1),156-158.

Owiti, B. (2005). Response of secondary school girls to the language of TV advertisements. Unpublished, PhD Thesis. Egerton University.

Postman, N. (1985). Amusing ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. New York: Free Press.

Shuy, R. W. (1992). Language Crimes: The Use and Abuse of Language Evidence in the Courtroom. Oxford: Blackwell.

Thompson, J. (1984). Studies in the Theory of Ideology. Los Angeles: Berkley University Press.

Van Dijk, T. (2008). Discourse and Power: Houndsmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

Van Dijk, T. A. (1995). Discourse analysis as ideology analysis. Language and peace. Journal of Political Ideologies. 10(47),142.

Yieke, F. (2002a). Language and discrimination: A study of gender and discourse in workplaces in Kenya. Doctoral dissertation. Universität Wien.

Yieke, F. (2002b). Language, gender, and power: The use of questions as a control strategy in workplaces in Kenya. Wiener Linguistische Gazette, 70-71.

14 October, 2020
How to Cite
Mayoyo, E., Khaemba, J., & Simiyu, F. (2020). A Critical Discourse Analysis of Linguistic and Discursive Strategies Used in Kenya’s Citizen Television Advertisements to Display Gender Ideologies. East African Journal of Arts and Social Sciences, 2(1), 154-170. https://doi.org/10.37284/eajass.2.1.223

Most read articles by the same author(s)