Deception in American Propaganda: A Pragma-Rhetorical Perspective

Abstract

This paper is intended to explore deception in American Propaganda. Seemingly, this concept, to the best of the researcher’s knowledge, has not received enough conceptualization as far as rhetorical pragmatics is concerned. This study tackles the problem of the lack of one-to-one correspondence between the speaker's underlying deceptive intention and the utterance offered. The present research has the task of giving an overall insight of the theoretical background with regard to the notions of deception, propaganda and rhetorical pragmatics. It aims to manifest the highly exploited pragma-rhetorical strategies in American propaganda. This work is based on the hypothesises: (1) certain argumentative appeals are more exploited than others in American propaganda, (2) certain pragma-rhetorical tropes are more frequently utilized than others to achieve specific deceptive ends, (3) there are significant differences between American propagandists in employing pragma-rhetorical strategies and (4) all the pragma-rhetorical strategies are exploited by both propagandists. The data of analysis include two American propagandistic political interviews. These are qualitatively (pragma-rhetorical) and quantitatively (statistical) analysed. The findings prove the validity of the hypothesises: (1), (2) and (3) while (4) is rejected.