Positioning in Trump’s 2017 Congress Speech: Identity and CDA Oriented Analysis


The term ‘positioning’ can be understood as identity- related concept and would be accomplished in different kinds of discourse: narrative, interaction or biography-oriented studies. This paper aims to investigate positioning and identity construction of US President Trump in a selected speech. The research question is encoded in: Does positioning inform about individuals’ the identity through their speeches? This research could be different from previous literature-related to positioning and identity because it deals with two fields of study and amalgamated as one related approach which is identity and positioning as well as CDA.The aim of this paper is to show identity construction (socio-political identity) via positioning of Trump as a president and how such concepts exhibits themselves in his public and internationally observed speech after holding power during his first month in office.The selected data is Trump’s second address to Congress after assuming power in January 2017. It is a long speech and shows different kinds of positioning; consequently tracing his identity construction. The methodology would be amalgamated method of analysis, comprising an eclectic model of identity and positioning oriented models as well as DHA (CDA approach) for the analysis. Analysis of the data is conducted qualitatively and quantitatively to show positioning occurrences and frequencies through the speech. Findings and results discussion are set to show that positioning contributes to identity construction of an individual via their discursive practices and through DHA approach. High percentage of positioning occurring shows a support for this finding especially the kind of speech selected is a political one. Final concluding remarks are set to show that positioning and identity are individual-related topics whereby personality and selfhood are checked. Through discourse (spoken or written), a person can position himself and can be positioned by other i.e., self-positioning and other positioning for example positioning oneself as agentive, confident, dominant and superior to others and therefore positioning others to be non-agentive..etc.